(Versión en español)
The amazing story of Paula and her legacy may not be over yet. She is still weaving her spell.
Let me tell you a story.
At about 4.30pm, at the party after Paula’s funeral last Wednesday, we released 44 balloons – one for each year of her life. They were taken on the strong northerly wind that was blowing that day and carried rapidly southwards, out of sight.
The following morning, before midday, we received a message from a couple in Navarre in Spain – Jorge and Carolina – that they had found one of Paula’s balloons. Their message said:
“Hello – we are Jorge and Carolina. We are in Spain and have found some balloons with cards that say ‘In memory our dear friend Paula Roberts 1968/2013′. We believe it is your Paula. England to Spain is a wonderfully long way to have come. Greetings from Spain.”
Because of the strength of the wind that day, some of the balloons became entangled with each other and were released in a bunch. This is plainly one of those bunches – and the one surviving balloon descended slowly onto the plains of Navarre with its cargo of five labels, some 1,000 miles from where it set off 16 hours beforehand.
But Carolina and Jorge hadn’t finished surprising us. What they offered next was truly magical.
“If you give me an email address I send you some pictures of the balloon with the cards … and if it seems a good idea, we will attach 44 new balloons to the cards and release them again.”
And do you know what?
They did, on Saturday … releasing the new balloons from the same place they had found ours, with an additional note explaining what had happened:
Carolina and Jorge are now a wonderful part of Paula’s story, and they say that what they would love above all else is for other people to find the balloons and labels and also send them on, carrying Paula’s memory to wherever that cold, strong wind takes it …
(PS: Much as I would like you all to think that my Spanish is wonderful, and I was chatting away to them like a native, honesty compels me to admit that I had an interpreter in the shape of my good friend Kirsty McCluskey …)