Amit - Chapter 08
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My husband didn't die out here, it was the one thing he wanted just to get back
home. Anyhow when he went back ... he said to the doctor at the beginning
of September "when can I go back to Spain"" They said sorry I don't think you
can go back. At the crematorium we didn't have hymns, I had "Viva España."
It played all the way through, "take me back to sunny Spain." He wasn't a
religious person to the extent that he would have wanted to sing "Jerusalem"
and all those things that make you cry. So, when "take me back to sunny Spain"
started everyone just looked at me, and I felt happy about it ... well, he would
have thought, "Reenie, it's only you who would have thought of that." I had
really also wanted to drive our car right back [from Spain] to the crematorium
[in the U.K.], because I wanted our car up there, and its Spanish number
plate — we used to drive it down from Bilbao, through Madrid, stop at a Parador
at about 2:00 and the next morning we'd be down here by 12:00 — but my son
went "oh no mother, this is one time when you can't."
Doreen, an eighty-one year old Scottish woman told me this account
while sitting outside drinking coffee in Easter time in the pleasant
of a town on the Costa del Sol. Having retired to Spain some
thirteen years earlier with her husband, and now five years after his
she was on the verge of moving "home" — to the south of England to be
near her family. Her children were pleased she was returning and her
young granddaughter was particularly excited at the prospect of having
"Nannie Spain" back, the one who "kisses on two cheeks." However,
children had known better than to interfere in or influence her
more accustomed as they were to looking in their diaries to find out
where on the globe their parents were at that moment. The year Doreen's
husband died, the couple had only shortly returned from a cruise around
Alaska, and at the time of our conversation she was excitedly planning
cruise in Australia. For Doreen's part, her arrival in Spain those
"seems like yesterday," and she described her time there as filled with
experiences of travel and discovery. Although she was happy to be
returning to the U.K., she still maintained that she would keep
back and forth from Spain: "oh no, no no ... I'm not going back in that
sense," she insisted in her rolling Scottish accent. For Doreen,
Spain was the key, she felt, to what kept her alive.