Guilt; Noun – feeling of having committed wrong or failed in an obligation:

got guilt

The train trip from Dover to Brighton takes about 2 1/2 hours, so there’s a lot of time to just be by yourself, think and be introspective. (Deja vu)

I feel guilty about going back to Brighton a day earlier than planned, but an invitation to the Hat Festival, in Bridport (Dorset) was one I could not refuse.  I need a rest. I need a “Hat Festival,” whatever that is! I need to feel normal and do things that regular people do. It’s been a very long and intense 8 weeks. I have traveled from Brighton to London to Dover to Brighton so many times I’ve lost count and my head is spinning.  I need to exhale, let my hair down (so to speak!)

Brief Interval:  During the writing of this blog entry , I was temporarily distracted by about 70 young Italian students boarding the train, three of which sat with me at my table. I spent 45 minutes trying to converse with these kids (aged 13-16) and their teachers.  They were traveling through the UK, from Venice, Italy. What a riot!  I do not speak Italian very well, and they did not speak English very well, but yet somehow we were able to talk!  We really talked.  After answering a lot of question about who I am, where I’m from and what I do (yes, really hard to explain!!!!)  a cute young boy of 16 asked me if my 31 year old daughter was married!  We all laughed!  Like he was interested…. They got off at Saint Leonard’s Warrior Station (God knows why), but what fun I had.  I was totally lost in the enjoyment of talking with a bunch of kids…  imagine that! 

Ok, so back to my feeling guilty… {It always comes back to guilt doesn’t it?} This weekend we’ll go to Bridport;  a small, beautiful, funky town in Dorset.  Nick has a friend (from when he was like 10 years old! ) named Jon, who is a Veterinarian, and he lives there.

I love going to Dorset. I want to live in Dorset… I love visiting Jon and his dog Chrissy, so why do I feel guilty about going and doing something that I know will be fun and enjoyable? Why do I feel that I’m either supposed to be with Arielle, or be sitting in my Flat waiting to be with Arielle? Why is there guilt about the possibility of my having fun.

Guilt… a very strange concept.

“No one blames her.”

“That never matters,” said Alec. “Not when you blame yourself.”

Cassandra Clare, City of Lost Souls


  1. My dear Melissa, don’t play the “guilt” card. You have come too far and have done your part from the very beginning of the journey. The Hat Festival is just what you need. Go…and enjoy it! I remember when Anissa had her first surgery in Tampa and I was like a hovering helicopter over her, even though she was under the care of the chief neuro surgeon, most experienced ICU nurses, and in a state- of- the- art ICU suite. So why couldn’t I take a couple of hours to go to the hair salon and get a mani/pedi…only a mother can answer that. But it’s not guilt! Maybe we don’t think anyone can care for them as well as we can, or fear that something will happen the minute we exit the hospital…but not guilt, Melissa…not guilt. You have to take care of you, both physically and mentally, so that you are able to take care of Arielle. Remember, sometimes you’ll have to “GAFIAte” (get away from it all), if only for an hour. I continue to pray for your strength and courage. xoxo

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You know that thing they say on airplanes about putting the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others with theirs… going to a hat festival is basically the same thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have to have balance Meliisa otherwise you’ll burn out. If you don’t recharge your batteries how can you be there for Arielle? So don’t feel guilty – you are helping her by doing this. Remember Get Ahead – Get a Hat! xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t think I can say anything that will magically stop you feeling guilty, but a weekend in Dorset sounds like exactly what you need, in order to get back to what Arielle needs; and that is you at your most “you”. Not frazzled or careworn, but rested, feeling “normal” whatever that is, and with batteries recharged for the next leg of the journey. You are being amazing, doing everything right, and taking this weekend off is just the latest in a long line of excellent decisions. Pictures of both you and Nick in improbable headwear please xxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I took everyone’s advice and you can see by the photos I had a lovely time! As far as me being amazing and doing everything right… not sure about that but I am doing the best I can!!! : ) xxx


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