Sunday 6th January 2019

Today we hugged goodbye.  I would like to thank the Coach driver of the 12:15 Bath to Heathrow National Express today.  After loading my daughter’s massive ‘going away for a year or more’ rucsack on board he let me give her an extended hug goodbye on the coach steps.  This cheered me up immensely, I felt like I had been given the chance to give her a proper final hug and leave – happy that this moment hadn’t been complicated by other travellers or a grumpy driver.

I still fled to the outside of the station to fall apart at the seams a little, only to look back and catch my son catching a glimpse of me in this dreadful state.  Turning away from his gaze I forced myself to ‘Straighten up’ and walked along the outside of the station to the coaches exit road.  I wanted to wave goodbye to Jessie on the coach along with my son and better half.  It was hard remaining composed,  I wanted to have an irrational  outburst and wail and cry as if I would never see her again, but instead I prepared to wave Goodbye!

This had to be a happy not sad farewell.  “Be calm and carry on” or in this case “Be strong and smile”  The coach pulled up at the station exit road but it was stopped by the traffic lights on red.  This gave time for a brilliant encounter.  The coach driver smiled at me, at us.  Then a bigger smile appeared on his face.  We had out iphones and camera ready to take a photo of Jessie as she passed by us on the coach.  Then he made me laugh, all of us laugh.  He waved at us, then put his thumb up, then gave the biggest cheesiest grin, waving as he drove by, and four seats behind was Jessie grinning and waving happily at us too!  Within seconds they were gone.  But I felt it was a good start to her adventures!

Photo by Artem Bali on