Guest Post: Gina Baynham


 

Gina baynham 1

Gina baynham family

 

I first came upon Corey‘s blog in 2007 accidentally

as I sat in my kitchen in Australia

helping my 7-year-old daughter to research a school project.

The link Google brought me to was a story

about gold bead necklaces  traditionally gifted to

young girls in Marseille to mark special occasions as they grew up.

I was captivated. For a brief moment

I was unaware of my messy kitchen, the pile of laundry waiting to be done,

 and young kids running around asking me to do things for them.

I came back to her blog later that night when the kids

were tucked up in bed and I scrolled through story after story. 

 

Gina baynham 3

 


Gina baynham 3

 

In Corey‘s blog, I found a place to escape

where I could look at beautiful photographs and

read stories of French culture and experiences.

It brought me back to my childhood.

Every July my parents would pack up the car

and we would go on the overnight ferry to Le Havre

to embark on a driving adventure around France.

For four weeks we stayed in small campsites

eating baguettes and soft cheese and fruit,

so much fruit.

It was so very different than my normal life in Ireland.

Our holidays in France were a reprieve from the rain, from school, from chores.

It was exciting, colorful and the smells as we walked through markets

were of foods I had never tasted and flowers I had never seen.

Corey‘s blog brought those images back into my head so vividly

I could smell the flowers and feel the warm sun on my skin. 

 

Gina Baynham 6


Gina Baynham 6

 

It was around this time that my dad in Ireland became unwell.

Over the next few years, he was diagnosed with dementia.

I was living in Australia with my husband and three children

the distance was difficult to manage.

Corey put a blog post up about some little trinkets she had found in the brocante

and asked people to comment if they wanted to be sent one of the items.

Amongst the images, I saw a small religious medal.

I felt such a strong connection to it.

When Corey messaged to say she would send it to me I asked her instead

to send it to my father in Ireland.

I’m not sure if Dad ever understood why

an American woman in France had sent him an unexpected letter

with a small religious medal but he understood enough

to know that it was “Gina‘s friend”. 

 

Gina Baynham 4
Gina Baynham 4

 

Gina's family2005

 

When Dad died I made the long journey back to Ireland

where we held Dad's wake in the house.

On a small table next to the coffin lay some precious items

that meant a lot to Dad. His watch, his cufflinks,

a small crucifix, and Corey’s medal.

I put the medal in my pocket, held it tight as I hugged my family goodbye,

then boarded the long flight back to Australia on my own. 

 

Over the years I feel like I have shared Corey’s life.

I remember feeling so excited when I read that her daughter had become engaged.

I watched the wedding on FaceTime live and it felt like I was there walking

in the cobblestones and throwing the confetti!

It has been a privilege to be granted access to Corey and her family. 

 

 

Gina Sunset

 

We live in a time where we are told not to place our personal details online.

We warn our kids not to befriend people they have not met in real life.

And yet I am forever grateful for the Google search

that accidentally brought Corey into my life.

She is a beautiful person and I know she inspires

so many people with her words and images. 

 

Gina Baynham 6

 

What exactly do you call someone that you have never actually met in person?

An acquaintance?

A friend?

Or in the case of Corey Amaro…

A wonderful woman who helps us find beauty

in small things,

feel love and hope

just when we need it most.

xo

______________



Gina Sunset

 

 

 

 

Follow Gina Baynham on Facebook

Read more of her life as a wife, mother, nurse, hiker, and extraordinarily fun person

 

 

                 

[Author: French la Vie]


Tags: Travel, Google, Australia, France, Ireland, Marseille, Facetime, Dad, Le Havre, Corey, Gina, Corey Amaro, French la Vie, Gina Baynham

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