Had to let my Dad today down which didn’t feel good.
A few weeks ago he mentioned that “before he died” he wanted to return to a place on Spain’s Costa Blanca where he’d once owned a villa.
Funny that phrase, it kind of goes without saying that you’re going have to do things before you die but I knew what he meant. Maybe a little melodramatic though as he is in excellent health for his age.
He’s spent months shielding in pretty much full lockdown and is quite clearly sick of the idea of spending now until April or beyond doing much the same.
At his age – 86 – time is at once more scarce and seemingly slipping away more quickly.
Without thinking it through I said I’d go with him for at least part of his break. I’m keen to get away myself, enjoy some winter sun and more importantly saw it as an opportunity for us to spend some time together.
You never know it could be the last chance, just the two of us – father and son, something I perhaps should have done more of over the years.
Truth is I didn’t really think he’d follow it through and yesterday he rang up saying he’d been looking at flights and apartments. After the call I started to think about it properly and soon reality started to hit.
I’d have to quarantine again when I get home – two weeks under virtual house arrest for a few days away seemed a poor return on my time investment.
Part of me felt like I might just ignore the rules this time but deep down I knew I couldn’t do that so it would be another 14 days at home, this time much of it alone, this time in the midst of a cold, dark November.
Then there is the risk of catching Covid for both me and him, the truth we’ve got just as much chance of catching here or there though the masked two hour flight and time at the airport would pose at least some risk.
The situation both here and in Spain is far from stable. Over there they’ve just locked down Madrid, over here we’re doing the same to Liverpool.
Travelling between the two countries in the grip of the second wave is not straight forward with forms to be filled in both ways and a temperature check and health assessment to be carried out on arrival in Alicante. Failing either could result in being whisked off to a local hospital.
Finally I started to wonder what it would be like over there. Even though the resort is usually open all year round I know it still feels out of season in November.
Even if the sun is shining, which is far from guaranteed, it’ll be no fun if my Dad’s bar and restaurants haunts from the past are closed or empty which seems to me more than likely. What kind of experience would that be.
I feel his need to get away but having travelled against Government advice in August, I just know I won’t feel right going again now. I also feel sure he wouldn’t enjoy it either.
When I told him all this, he still seemed determined to go though he might reflect upon it and change his mind. Part of me hopes he goes so I haven’t put him off, part of me hopes he stays because I think that’ll be for the best. We’ll see!
Whatever the outcome I felt said saying ‘no’ and I hope neither of us end up regretting the decision we made.