Being so far away from Germany, the home and country I grew in has always had it’s challenges. And it’s not just my own internal struggles that I’m talking about such as not knowing where I belonged to and what to call home for many, many years, but a multitude of things. In later years as Mom grew old and sick, It was “that call” that I feared. As long as everything was silent the world was ok and so was she, although I knew it wasn’t always the case. Call it ignorant bliss, what you don’t know can’t worry you, it’s just how it was. And Mom never wanted to worry me, “what are you going to do anyways, so far away” she would say, warranting her thoughts and feelings. Today I feel for my poor cousin in Germany who has always been my informant, my right hand kind of person, my family. She has kept me posted of the good, the bad and the ugly. Like I said when it was silent things were good (presumably) and for years now she has taken over the tough job of telling me about the not so good things. She has a heart of gold and a compassion that is unmatched. I know that she has kept stuff from me to not unnecessarily upset me, but only to protect me. And she is 12 years younger than me, you’d think it should be me, the older cousin protecting her, but that is who she is. A strong and independent woman, always doing the right thing, always being sensitive to the needs of others. Always lending a helping hand regardless of leading a busy life and being stretched into multiple directions. She has tackled things with a smile for me, while never complaining. I don’t know what I’d do without her and I can only hope that I can make it up to her some day. I have a fantastic plan and hope to see it come to life within the short future.
When Mom was sick, I was afraid of getting “that call.” It was always like a ticking time bomb, I’ve constantly prepared that something could happen at any moment. During her last few years she was in the hospital more times then she was at home and it was always tragic and hard to support her from so far away. The only thing I could do was pray and wait for “that call.” It always left me feeling like a bad daughter, like I wasn’t there for her. Of course when things got really bad, I hopped on a plane to be by her side, but for the most part she always had to fight through everything herself. I often felt that my cousin was like the daughter she never really had in me, and it no longer causes pain today, for it brings me more comfort knowing that she wasn’t totally alone while I couldn’t be there. Once Mom passed it became obvious what heavy burden the fear of “that call” had placed onto me. I couldn’t help but feel a certain relief, no longer having to be afraid of it. Her suffering was over and in a way it was the end of mine too, although it was only the tip of the iceberg.
Later “that call” took on a new meaning as responsibilities in Germany remained and once again I was so far from it all, living here in the States. The fear about Mom had transitioned and changed into the fear about the House. Whether it was paperwork that needed to be completed, maintenance or just seeing that everything was ok, that the cellar wasn’t flooded, that the wind didn’t pry open the garage door, what to do with the fruit trees in front of the house, mowing the yard etc., the house has always kept me in check. It is here too that my cousin has jumped in and has handled everything with so much care and so lovingly during my absence. None of it is here responsibility and she’d tell you that it is what family does. I can’t thank her enough.
The end of August was the plan, to go back to Germany and handle my affairs. To finally get a headstone for Mom and to go through personal belongings, getting the house ready to sell. This plan was undermined dealing with a major flare up with the RA and I am still struggling. The thought of this undertaking instilled fear and seemed like a huge project to tackle by myself. Just getting there, the flight, when you barely walk, not knowing how you can rush to your connecting flight, all of it were valid concerns. I doubted myself under the conditions I am in, unable to envision how I could manage. Still it has to be done and I know that it is keeping me from my own life and from achieving my own goals and dreams. Sometimes I wonder if I even have the strengths and energy to chase it. I need a major boost, a break, an adrenaline rush to power through.
In the meantime, I was continuing to make arrangements, for Cinnamon, for myself, preparing for the end of August, but instead of better I got worse, to the point that I felt I had run out of time and the window was closing. I was wondering if there was a message in all of it, what was the universe trying to tell me! Eventually, after not coming with an answer, I relaxed around the subject and I was trying to go with the flow. Everybody I talked to thought it might be better to go in spring, after I got better (hopefully) and the craziness in the world around Covid and vaccinations, and restrictions might have eased up a bit. With it I started to feel a bit better with slight improvements about my health. I was still on the long and winding path of getting better while popping pills every day, but the pain was muffled.
And then “the call” came, due to no fault of my cousin at all who once again considered not to even telling me about what was going on, only to protect me. It was a matter of time and many times I have felt the calls urgency and that it was due. Two years had passed with a house standing empty, unoccupied, unheated, with too little fresh air running through it’s veins. A house in repair, a house no longer safe from moisture entering the stairwell and causing it’s own path of destruction. I am wondering if it is even safe to be within those walls, even for a short time as mold is growing. And now I am scrambling and the tears flow freely again. I find myself back in survival mode and the thoughts and worries about how to tackle it have taken a backseat row. It’s almost as if there is no other choice again and I have to figure out how to go, asap. Worrying about Covid and not being vaccinated doesn’t help of course and are only a portion to the rest of what’s going on. Once again I feel that that Warrior has to pick up her shield and just power through somehow. It’s amazing really how strong we can be and what we can accomplish when being strong is the only choice we have. Maybe it’s exactly what I need, that survival instinct to hopefully invoke the adrenaline rush and power to make it through this.