Recap for Blog 16 – Zani’s breakthrough: Zani’s conversation with Vee creates something of a domino effect in her head. Suddenly, she realises what her priority should be, and that she can be whole.
I feel energised as I stick the key in the ignition and as I start the car and pull out of the parking lot of the Two Tarts, the words of the song ‘I will survive’ are dancing in my head: “First I was afraid, I was petrified …” Vee has given me the tools that will set me free. To become whole.
The drive to the Cradle is much quicker than I have anticipated and it is still way too early to book in, but the receptionist kindly makes an exception and allows me to slip into our cabin unnoticed. Instead of being the perfect wife by unpacking the car and getting everything just right for when Jake comes in from his cycling, I venture out on the deck overlooking the river and settle into an armchair. And all I then do is to let the gratitude flow through me.
And I am right. The time alone, just me, my thoughts and my determination to make things right, prove to be just the right thing at the right time. I am not in the least prepared for all the friends that Gratitude brings me! There are Insight, Understanding, Compassion, Caring, Forgiveness and Surrender. With them come Love, Peace and Joy. And buckets – no, not buckets, rivers – no, not rivers, tsunamis of tears, of relief, as the pain of years and years drains from me. I feel lighter. I feel beautiful. I feel at peace. No need to perform in order to please or to prove myself. No need to be perfect, to be accepted. No need to know everything so that I can control everything. I feel good, certainly good enough. I feel whole.
Drained, but happy, lighter of spirit, I pull myself out of the chair and go back into the cabin to wash my face and soak two rooibos teabags from the complimentary stock in the cabin, ready to do their magic on my puffy eyes. I lie back on the bed, place the teabags on my eyes and fall into a deep, deep sleep.
I wake up some time later – I have no idea how long I’ve slept – when Jake gently touches my hair and whispers to me.
“Zani? Zani, you okay?”
I stir, and lift the teabags from my eyes.
“Hi. Yes, I’m fine. Just fine.”
It is clear that Jake can’t quite marry the two teabags with the ‘fine’, but he doesn’t object when I throw my arms around his neck and tell him how much I love him.
“You sure there’s nothing wrong?” He is confused. So I confess with all the words just tumbling out as I try to cram everything I have to say into two sentences. He laughs. He still doesn’t understand, but he knows I am fine and that I am happy – and that something has changed.
Ever the practical one – and relieved, I’m sure, that our time away isn’t going to develop into yet another drama – he suggests we unpack the car. He opens the boot and I burst out laughing: right there in front of me I see my old self – a boot full of stuff we don’t need. I ask Jake to take his bag and the cooler bag and start to gather what we really need – it is very little.
Jake notices but, wisely, says nothing. He knows I will talk when I’m ready. He takes a shower to get rid of the morning’s sweat and dust from his cycling, while I unpack and sort out the kitchenette. We then take a long walk along the river and I start telling him, little by little, about my conversations with Vee. I tell him I cried out of gratitude: I am grateful for being rid of the holes, grateful for him – and that I am able to be with him; grateful for his endless patience and understanding; and grateful for his honesty in putting the brakes on my baby train. He smiles his Jake smile and says he is glad that I am able to see him for the man he is.
“So, you’re perfect?”
“Well, as close as a man can get, I think,” he smirks.
I shake my head in mock irritation, but the seriousness of the moment has been successfully diffused and we are back on track. I know that much.
On the walk back to the cabin, Jake – a little tentatively – says he too has something to get off his chest. For an instant, Dread steps up to claim a space between us, but I refuse to let it in. I refuse to allow Dread to cloud what Jake is about to say, and will myself to be in the here and now. Deep breath. Deep breath.