This summer we will be returning to Portugal for the first time since Nigel died. When I tell people we are going, I get very mixed reactions. Some of the negative ones to make me want to scream!
We are returning because we own timeshare where Nigel died. I could swap it for another location, but after careful consideration I decided not to. Nigel and I chose to buy timeshare in Alvor for good reason. It is a fantastic resort with so much to offer for a great family holiday, we loved it there, and have taken both girls there for their first holiday abroad.
I feel positive about going back to Alvor. Yes, it is where NIgel died, but equally it is somewhere I have happy memories of too. Portugal generally is a special place for us. We had our very first holiday together in Albufeira in 1998 when I was 22 and Nigel was 32. Then of course we took the girls. We tried other places, but just kept coming back to Portugal. It had everything we wanted from a holiday.
The girls have grown up with Portugal too, and have asked many times when they would be going back. I believe that they too have happy memories of our holidays there, and so I want to kindle that happiness.
When we left Portugal the Sunday after Nigel died, I felt deeply sad that I was leaving him there. Yes, he was dead and so knew nothing about it, but still I felt I should not have left him there alone. In a way, I left part of myself in Portugal that day we flew home, so returning this summer will help me reclaim that. I need to go back, experience happiness there, see how the girls and I have grown together as a more complex family unit.
I am hoping for a fortnight of happiness and good memories.