I don't get homesick. Never have and I don't suppose I ever will. Yes, I miss my home and my family and my friends from time to time when I’m away, but I prefer to look forward to the future rather than long for what was but no longer is. I have to make my future a past I want to remember and to do that I must focus on each present day and make the most of each and every situation I find myself in rather than trying to recreate past times.

 

Having said that, I did have a wave of emotion wash over me recently that left my mind in the past for a few moments. I was flying back home from Madrid to London for a quick visit and woke the morning of with the comings of a common cold. Nothing serious but enough to warrant bringing an extra pack of tissues and a Lemsip with me on board my British Airways flight to Heathrow.

 

As the steward came round offering inflight beverages, I asked for a cup of warm water ready to be mixed with my trusty medicine that would ensure my visit back to Blighty wasn't spoilt by illness. I waited for a bit with the cup sitting on my tray table, letting it cool to an appropriate temperature for my heat-sensitive taste buds and thought nothing particularly significant about the occasion.

 

Yet, as soon as the warm liquid crossed my lips I was thrown back to my childhood and hundreds of memories flashed across my mind, all different versions of the same thing.

 

What Windolene is to the family in My Big Fat Greek Wedding, Lemsip is to mine; we swear by the stuff. My own personal experience with it has had its ups and downs. As a young child, the taste was too bitter for my poor, weekend self to enjoy and it made being ill worse. But as I got older I was able to suck it up and drink away the cold. Accompanied by a bit of honey, or a biscuit to dunk, it slowly became something more than medicine.

 

Countless times I would lie in my bed, proper up by all the pillows we could muster and surround by used tissues, and my mother would quietly come into the room and make her way over to me with a Lemsip in tow, stroke my forehead and tell me everything was okay.

 

As the familiar sweetness touched my lips once again as I soared across Europe, that one act of kindness made me smile. A true act of selfless love. It's funny how the little things truly are the ones that count. She could have easily left me to my own devices with a loo roll and box of paracetamol, avoiding the contaminated air I was breathing. But instead, she took the time to bring me something that would make me feel better in health and in mind.

 

So there I sat on the plane, stomach warm and heart full of love, longing for the plane to land so that I could go and tell my mother how much I appreciated her. All of her.

 

It’s funny how something as insignificant as a Lemsip can mean so much to you and bring back memories you had previously deemed as insignificant. But when you have to make it yourself a thousand miles away from home, it’s importance suddenly becomes apparent and perhaps is worthy to be drunk from a chalice.

Published by Kate Beckitt