Six months ago I was standing on the dock at the V&A Marina in Cape Town, South Africa. It was time to fly home to Sweden, after another amazing trip with Delos and her fantastic crew. For 1½ months I joined the crew in fantastic sailing, going on safaris, eating excellent food, meeting great people and, I got to spend time with Karin. But now the time had come to say goodbye.
(Karin and I taking a selfie to remember our magical day on Table Mountain, Cape Town.)
Brian ordered an Uber to pick me up and take me to the airport. It came much too soon. These goodbyes really rip my heart out. I know it’s au revoir and see you soon, but that is not what it feels like. It feels like my heart is shattered and my world comes to an end. So I give Karin a last hug, telling her to be safe and that I love her SO much! We glance at each other and I turn to get into the car, while my eyes fill with tears.
I cried the whole way to the airport, trying to convince the driver that I was okey. He didn’t look like he believed me. How can something be so wonderful and awful at the same time? All the thoughts twirling in my head. When will I see her again? Will she be okey? What if she needs me and I can’t get to her? How will I cope? Leaving my beautiful daughter, that I love more than I can ever explain, to go to the other side of the world. Not knowing when I will see her again. Is that even the right thing to do? Why does it have to be this way?
And then on the other hand – What can be more wonderful than your children fulfilling their dreams? Well, nothing! Probably this is just the right way to live life, for her and for me. And we all know that everything in life, yours and mine, always has two sides. There are to and fro, ups and downs, nights and days, storms and lulls. Sailing and not sailing. Being here and being there… That’s right, what if you are here and the ones you love are not. Because they are – there!
(Together. When I close my eyes and find peace of mind this is what I see. Karin and I walking along the beach, talking and just spending time together without any special agenda or goal.)
That is what this blog is about and that is what has been my life for a number of years now. So let me tell you how I feel about being a mum whose daughter is there, while I am here, because she is circumnavigating the world. Well as you already realize – it’s wonderful, and awful!
I live in Sweden, on the island of Gotland in the middle of the Baltic Sea. No one in the family has been sailing that much, but the sea and the shores has always been an important and energy giving part of our life. And along came Brian. I was in Sweden and Karin was studying in Melbourne, taking a weekend trip to New Zeeland, when she text me: “I am fine, but just so you know I met a great guy, so I will stay here a bit longer.” A mother’s nightmare! Is he kind? What will they do? Where will he take her? Well, this is over five years ago now, and as you know the funny ways of life brought two beautiful souls together. He is kind! And they are sailing around the world together!
(Karin and I on a fishing trip in northern Norway.)
Karin and I have done so many amazing things together. Travelling, taking care of animals, skiing, shopping, hiking, talking talking talking…When we have the chance we speak every other day, about everything and nothing. About small daily matters and the meaning of life. The close bond we have is something I treasure very much. Thanks to Internet it is to some extent possible to keep in contact even if we are a globe apart. When I don’t hear from her for weeks in a row I try to convince myself that no news is good news. Which often is a poor comfort, but I have learned to live with it. I live my life working and enjoying leisure time with friends and family, like most mums, maybe with one exception – I carry my passport with me everywhere I go. If something happens and I have to go to Karin nothing should slow me down!
Do I get used to it, having Karin so far away? You might think so, but no. To some extent it has actually gotten worse over the years. The love for my children, Ragnar and Karin, still grows stronger for every year. And therefore the space in my heart that long to be close to them also grows bigger. Don’t get me wrong though. I’m not bitter or sad. Not at all! I have more than I could ever wish for and I would not want Karin, or Ragnar, to live their lives in any other way. But it is tough, and this is something we don’t write or talk about so much. It is tough, both for us that are “left at home” and for all of you out there that have your home on a circumnavigating sailboat.
(Here they are – Ragnar and Karin – my beautiful son and daughter who fill my heart with so much love, together on Delos when sailing in Borneo.)
Well, a lot of you know me by now. You know that one way that I handle the situation is that I travel to join the Delos crew as soon as I have the opportunity. And they are all so amazing and open their home (Delos!) and hearts for me whenever I come. I have been island hopping in the Philippines, gotten drunk on a jungle party, sailed around the tip of Borneo, seen the death star sailing into Singapore, avoided pirates in the Malacca Strait, sitting on night watch guided by dolphins, rounded Cape of Good Hope … And that is just a fragment of all the crazy and wonderful things I have done thanks to Karin and the Delos crew.
(Nothing beats a jungle party in the Philippines!)
To be a part of The Delos Tribe is so humbling! That also gives me some comfort during the rest of the year. I know what it’s like on Delos, where Karin sits on her night watch, where she makes her tea and some of how the everyday life when sailing is like. It’s hard to explain how much this knowledge means to me. A lot! One short message that they have been diving or have taken Maggie to visit an island, and I can picture all the work that is involved, what they do and how they do it. It brings them closer and I do not feel so far away.
(Helping Karin with some of the everyday work on Delos.)
So, how do I wrap this up? Well I don’t think I can. There is no solution or magic pill. It’s just the way it is. The way of life. And it is wonderful, because guess what – My daughter is circumnavigating the world. And it is awful, because guess what – My daughter is circumnavigating the world. I love her SO much, I miss her to the extent that my heart explodes and I would not want her to live her life in any other way! Crazy isn’t it?!
This has been a difficult post to write, for me to “put myself out there” and for the worries that maybe this is not a post that you write on a website about sailing. But here I go, I’ve done it! I hope you liked it and that I have given you a glimpse of the other side of sailing – not sailing!
This blog is for you Karin. Jag älskar dej!