Tuesday was Gavarnie
Mass was due to be a joint one with group 120, to bond with our paired group...
JS3, however, had lost their priest for the day, so joined us as well.
The priest from 120 looked a bit shell shocked. He would be quite at home on a certain forum I used to frequent and was finding the Lourdes experience sopmewhat different to his expectations.
But Martin did the sermon, beautifully involving the children as ever. The backdrop for our Mass was the Cirque, the ring of mountains, still covered in snow and towering over us.
After Mass, it was donkey rides, face painting, picnics and drinks at the cafe.
And in the evening- fireworks! Matt was too tired to go out but we went up to the roof and watched the spectacle- by the end he looked cold and pale but oh so happy...
He didn't take long to sleep after all his bits were done and I settled to my waking night.
Wed was the Welsh Mass, with "Rise and Shine" as an impromtu finale. Archbishop Peter preached to the adults, with mixed feelings on this, some liking it but many upset that he did not aim it at the youngsters...
In the evening we partied. Alice got wound up so I took her off missing the delicious veggie pizza with ham that I was given.
Finally at midnight those of us off duty popped out for a drink and found a quiet corner and talked about Matt and Alice and their families. And Martin talked of this being the reason God allows suffering like Alice and Matt's- to enable others to love them and to learn to love.
"There's a whole other story to that"
All the words I could get out as I started to silently cry.
Thoughts of years of holding T in my arms as he shook and suffered- no way, no way no way (as Emma, another special child) would say.
Realising if I stayed, I would humiliate myself by bawling I got up, accompanied by Han, who had seen and left. I told her I was going back alone and needed to be alone and flew home.
And went to bed and cried and cried and cried for an hour, with the thoughts and the grief of years flooding out.
I was unaware that Martin had followed but missed me and returned to the others...
But instead of trying to stop crying, I let it happen, I allowed the hurt to be there and I held it, until finally it went quiet.
As I just started to sleep, in came My.
Like me, she doesn't drink.
2 pints or so and little food and sleep and My was, shall we say, tired and emotional.
She got herself to bed noisily and lay there, equally noisy.
My mood changed from sorrow to delicious delight at my friend's happy state.
I didn't sleep much after that and got up as usual early to do the meds..
My was unrousable at this point- "get off" was her response to the tea offered.
But by 9 she was up and ready to face Thursday.
And I put my false face on and chirped happily around the hotel...