GRATITUDE. Every day of my life I am grateful for all the people who saw me through a very rough time. Some of whom I don’t even know their names. The many caring people in the hospital. Nurses who cared. The doctors who knew what they were doing. The French neighbors who took the time out of their busy lives to visit me.

And most of all, my beloved REG who never gave up on me. He was there every single day that I was in hospital. No easy fete considering he was working on deadline, taking care of the animals, buying groceries, cleaning, cooking, and giving me the strength to get through the ordeal. Of course, he had the help of the kids – Meg made so many trips across the channel to make sure I was getting better and to give me tremendous moral support. And when I was ready to enjoy seeing them, the other two showed up with smiles and more support.

I must also include my gratitude to my up-bringing – parents who throughout my childhood gave me courage. And I would be remiss not to mention how many times in the darkest hours of my despair I thought of my animal companions and how they needed me. Of the 4 animals who traveled with us to France and back to Florida then back to France only one was still with us – my precious Norma Jean, the little ginger cat who came to us one stormy night in Northern California and is still with us to this day at the age of twenty-two years. Often when I was feeling pretty low I would think of Norma Jean, such a brave little cat, and promise myself that I would be her companion again. Of course, Tache had come into our lives and later, my helper Joanne contributed the Marmie cat twins to our gang. And there is Kimi and Coco, who also inspired me to get well.

And I often thought about the garden waiting for me to pull a few more weeds and plant some vegetables. And that novel waiting to be finished. Hopefully, I have a few more years left in me to get a few more things accomplished … with the help of my beloved family and wonderful friends who didn’t give up on me.

Happily, it is all behind me now. The operation to restore my colon and the full hysterectomy were done and successful. Every day I gain a little more energy so the garden and the novel will get done!

Yes, living French IS easy… even when you are ill. Mainly because the French people are so supportive and never let you down!