Posted in Life

Awesome Blogger Award 🥇

Reading the definition for this award and being considered as an awesome blogger that adds happiness and laughter to my readers, is truly a great honor that touches my heart. I’m humbled about the nomination and thank the beautiful Mackenzie for her consideration. Mackenzie has a wonderful spirit and spreads awareness about chronic illnesses. Battling several herself she is a fighter and remains positive throughout the struggles. She is a true role model and I’m glad that our paths have crossed. Please stop by and say hello to her here.

Rules For This Award:

• Thank the person who nominated you.

• Include the reason behind the award.

• Tag it under #awesomebloggeraward in the Reader.

• Answer the questions your nominator gave you.

• Nominate at least 5 awesome bloggers.

• Give your nominees 10 new questions to answer.

• Let your nominees know that they’ve been nominated.

• Mackenzie’s Questions

• What is your biggest goal in life?

To live my true purpose and make a difference for others in whatever form and way fit

• What is your favorite food?

Mmmh, tough one but I like the bad stuff and pasta is my weakness

• Cats or dogs?

I love all animals and had a cat once named Gizmo that was very close to me, but it was a Shiba Inu Mix named Nikki that stole my heart. So dogs it is and for that matter, my next pooch must be a Shiba

• Why did you start blogging?

I reached a point there was so much to say and share. We don’t always get the chance of being heard in today’s society or to help others. I had faced adverse times and challenges that I know others are faced with as well. I wanted to be a voice, an inspiration, showing that there is life beyond the troubles. I have always been in leadership roles, empowering others that I came across, but the four walls of working in a store became too confined and I wanted to reach out on a bigger scale. It’s a huge task, but given the opportunity to make a difference, even if it is with one person, I couldn’t ask for more and it is for that one person that I got to touch in a positive way..

• Where is your dream vacation?

Wow, either you got tough questions or I’m overthinking things. I can’t name “A” dream vacation and there are many places to see, but Norway definitely comes to mind and Japan.

• What advice would you tell your 13  year old self?

Stay positive throughout the challenges and always search for the silver lining. Some lessons might be tough and are hard to understand, but they will stretch you and mold you into your higher self.

• How many pets do you have?

1-A guinea pig

• Who inspires you?

People who see the big picture and who are selfless in their pursuit of life.

• What is your favorite color?

Mmh, People say that I wear red very well and I take it as compliment. Not everyone can pull off red.

• If a genie gave you only 3 wishes, what would you ask for?

This is the toughest yet, as I can’t think of anything materialistic. In no particular order, I guess I would ask for TIME to pursue all my hobbies and creative avenues. I asked for WORLD PEACE and that we all get along and slow down a bit. To remember kindness towards each other and that itself would make life a lot more peaceful. I would ask to END POVERTY and all SUFFERING, no matter what form.

And here are my questions.

What was your biggest accomplishment in life?

What would you do different if you had to do it again?

What is your favorite past time?

What is your definition of happiness?

What is your favorite season and why?

What quality do you love about yourself?

Optimist or Pessimist?

What was your biggest lesson learned so far?

What is your dream job and why?

What is your best advice for new bloggers?

And my nominations are, really anyone that wants to participate and I think you are all amazing and I love your voices, but if I had to name a few, then here we go.

Nathprasaddhanawat I still owe a nomination post to him and I haven’t forgotten. I’m so bad at writing these things on command but please stop by and say hi. His blog is all about Love, Life and Photography and who could not need more of that?

Wardclever a most recent discovery and a soul that says it how it is. “I’m broken and repaired and broken, repeatedly, but I’m a renewable resource” are just a few of his words that draw me into the mystery of heartache, love, melancholy and magic. You won’t be disappointed.

Iampharaohmaktuk a modern day poet whose words will sweep you away and transport you to feel the magic of every emotion behind it. He is gifted beyond means and if you love poetry, prepare to be amazed.

Artyplantsman the mastermind behind the wonderful blog about Plants, Botanical Art, Humor and random stuff, plus Molly’s human pack leader. Darren, a talent in so many ways, he is also one of the kindest souls you will ever find. Not only is his blog inspiring and informative, but once he closes you into his heart and a friendship is formed, consider yourself blessed that your paths have crossed. Thank you Darren for being you.

Aroundthekornerblog belongs to my friend Kris, an exceptional and strong kind soul who always finds a way to go on, no matter how challenging her troubles are. She speaks from the heart as she lets us into her day to day world and the dilemmas she is faced with. I love her honesty and the no filter approach to speaking her mind. I’m inspired by her courage, her strengths and the will to go on no matter what. You go girl…

Posted in Inspiration, Life

The best version

Tonight I’m reminding myself that people will always come and go.

If you’re lucky, you managed to make a friend for life. You are richer than many. 💙

If not, be grateful for the lessons they brought and for the times they stood by your side when you needed someone to be there. Even if it was only temporary.

Don’t forget to stay true to yourself throughout the process of transformation. Don’t change a thing and remember that the right people will love and accept you for you are. You are perfect in every way. Believe it…

You have no one to impress, other than yourself. Be proud of who you are. Embrace the challenges that you have conquered and celebrate the goals you have achieved.

Strive to be the best version of yourself without copying others. Be unique and original. Be YOU tiful you.

Everyone else is already taken.

Posted in Life

Just one of those days 

I once read, that I was born on the day of ups and downs. It always comes back into memory when I have a day that is filled with rollercoaster emotions of ups and downs. Sometimes it makes me smile, other times I’m left shaking my head, but it always makes perfect sense and I understand it without questioning it. Yesterday was such a day and it took a reminder from home to make me realize yet again that nothing ever changes. Some things are not dependent on a miracle and some things just won’t change unless you are the one who puts change into motion. Not always an easy thing, and sometimes I think that my case, of course I am partial as it is unique and personal to me, couldn’t be any more complex than it already is. On the other hand, I believe that God doesn’t give us more than we are capable of handling. I know that I have the tools to do it and I know that I will. The harder the journey, the sweeter the rewards. It’s just hard sometimes, despite the trust that I have of growing even more, the further I am stretched. Yesterday, the ups and downs caught up with me and it felt all too familiar. I’m not resisting these days anymore and I allow those emotions to pass through me. Without trying to be more in control, somehow I am and I’m strong and stable for the most part. Still I’m human and yesterday, I went a step further and shared my worries with you for various reasons. My main intend for this blog is to spread positive messages and to inspire, to be a storyteller and give my readers a point of relevance through relating. But I don’t see myself as human, hiding the vulnerable side as if nothing bad ever happens to me. I struggle just like everybody else, but I want my story to stand for the inspiration that there is always a way and that we are always a choice away from a complete different life. Otherwise it would seem to me that I’m painting a picture full of awesome adventures, happiness and joy, and one that is unrealistic and fake. I have chosen a different approach and I want to stir your sense to instill that choice we all have. And so it was by conscious choice that I spoke about my troubles yesterday and decided to share what was on my mind. I felt you should know that you are not alone out there, and that, you can only realize if others/myself let you take a glimpse inside of their world. This blog is about my journey, the adventure of life and finding the courage to live it. It is for those who struggle and seek inspiration, those who need to be heard and for those who need to find their voice. It was born with the desire to support and to make connections across the miles that are deeper in many cases as the ones that are within your proximity. Nothing is out of reach and in spirit we are all connected. I believe that many have such a journey to share and it is the foundation and reasons how many blogs get started.

Today was my day off and I did plenty of soul searching. I think the struggles of yesterday sparked some inspiration and I actually picked up a paint brush. I have an idea and it’s been a long time since I painted. My paintings resemble the chapters of my life and I think it’s time to paint one. What do you think so far? Lol, can you see the potential? I’m just kidding and as you see, my silly nature has returned. But I’m open to whatever if you see a vision in the blank canvas. I could easily call this one orange crush and call it a day,  but I have a feeling there is much more that is waiting to emerge. I will keep you posted as the layers add and as things become more visible. Stay tuned… might be a bit. 

Posted in Life, My story

Reality remains the same 

Life catches up with us from time to time and today I am experiencing a little low. I’m already apologizing the begin with and thank you for your patience. The demons won today and I’m having a moment. I’m not fighting it, and I’ve learned to let these times pass through me. To let the emotions surface and not suppress the feelings that could turn into anger or bitterness by doing so. I know that no matter how optimistic I am, I’m human after all and therefore I allow myself these moments without fighting them. I forgive myself, although I can’t say that I like them, but I’m wise enough to know that it is those moments and the adversity that we face from time to time, that stretches us and molds us into growth. Today, is different from the positive message I usually try to send, and the adventures of my travels and hikes, along with the photography that I usually share with you. Today I share my vulnerability, a deeply human emotion and today I need a different outlet. I will try my best to not make this a somber, whomp, whomp kind of post. So bare with me and know ahead of time that I’m not indulging in a pity party, but need to process some thoughts. It was yesterday, that it has been a month since I returned from Germany. It became the longest travel day ever, or so it seemed, and maybe it’s due to getting older and not putting away the moments of strain as good as I did in younger years. It’s been one month today that I returned back to work and I’ve been extremely busy. I have hired roughly 70 people since my return, scoped out talent, contacted such prospects, did interviews, prepared hiring paperwork and did orientations. I’ve been successful in my role and even led the district in metrics and results. It comes natural for me and without sounding cocky, I’m not surprised and know my abilities as well as my capabilities. You get the idea of work involved in doing such, and I’m still not done. I’m better prepared this time around and I know what to expect. I have managed to find a little more balance in the hopes to not aggravate the RA. At least so far, but business is only getting busier with each passing day. The crowds shopping expect more and more with each season, and non existing patience levels have turned a customer service industry into a servant industry. It pains me.

It was around this time last year, that this little outlet, my little blog, the labor of my love and means to reach out to you, took a big dive. Things were slowing down dramatically as if it was going into hibernation over the busy months. Truth is, that if you don’t put out content, things fade away and you are getting lost in the sea of plenty. I’m faced with some of the same struggles, although I know that WordPress has given me the opportunity to built some wonderful relationships that will last a lifetime. I feel that currently, there is not nearly enough time for me to read and keep up with the many people dear to my heart. It’s not about me posting for you, but more about me having the time to read and support all of you. I’m missing things, important things in your lives, groundbreaking things I want to be a part of, things I want to support and be there for. Knowing this, brings moments of sadness as I try my best to pop back in and catch up whenever I can. It is my truth now (Jay) to realize that this circle will only continue if I let it. By the time I get around to things, it’s often too late and in retrospect, I do struggle with that. What starts with one single thought, turns into and an avalanche and takes prisoners along the way. Making it through the holidays and this busy time, keeping the RA at bay, is just a short term goal, but I want more than just to make it through. I used to love the holidays, especially Christmas. Working in retail now, is associated with stress and making it a memorable time for everyone else. What about the future, how will it all continue in the coming years? 

I know that all of these thoughts stem from one unresolved issue and it has impacted me over the years. It is only getting stronger and it is catching up with me from time to time. I have an image burned into my head that haunts my mind since the return from Germany. It entails the vision of Mom, sitting on her hospital bed, her back is towards me after I said my final goodbyes in a rather quick fashion to avoid breaking down in front of all the people in her hospital room. I’m walking away, towards the door and it is for the last time that I see her. At the door now, I call out to her one last time, begging her to take care of herself and be well. She turns her head halfway towards me not to show her emotions, while throwing up her arm to wave goodbye for one last time. I’m leaving her behind, alone, once again as a visit is coming to an end. There is no way of knowing if we see each other again, how her days will be and I know that in the end she is alone without the proper care. Maybe it is the last time we have contact, see each other and are able to hug each other. She is alone and she has to be scared. She is vegetating away, one day at a time and I’m miles and miles away, unable to do anything. Today these thoughts and that image torment my soul. I’m reminded that reality remains the same. Nothing is changing until I set things into motion. I will face each year with the same struggles, no matter what they are, unless I make a change. I realize that all these things combine and fuel the main reason as to why change is inevitable. Whether it comes to having more time to stay in contact, to pursue my own passions, or having to push through the hectic of the holidays, not having one to enjoy yourself, to the bandaid of pills required to hold the RA at bay so I CAN do it, to years passing by without resolve, and most important Mom, who I feel more than ever this time around. You would think it’s a no brainer but it includes dissolving an entire adult life for me to start over a life of uncertainty and without clarity. Still it can’t be about me or the fear of the future. It has to be for her sake and I have to be selfless. I have to come to terms that either way, my decision will affect the lives of others and change life as we all know it. There is much work ahead, much to ponder and even more to take care of. When will I do that???

Posted in Family, Life

Turning point

Most of the first week home in Germany was filled fighting with Mom. Hurtful remarks would surface here and there throughout the day and in hindsight I know that it was the pain and illness that was talking. It was tough as the jabs kept coming without enough recovery time to get passed the hurdles. The roles had reversed and I noticed Mom’s stubbornness lighten up in regards to previous memories. I remember here so stubborn that without a problem she could easily not talk to you for however long she chose. Now it was more like throwing the punch and within a few minutes commenting on the lovely countryside. A few times I thought she might have turned bipolar. Mom developed water blisters on her legs which resulted in open sores. Every other day, a nurse comes to the house to tend to her and wrap her legs anew in the hopes of eliminating infection. Mom has struggled with diabetes for many years and the medicines are causing her kidneys not to function properly. Further medication is suppose to remove excess water from her body, but she hates the pills as they bring on a sudden and uncontrollable urge to run to the bathroom. A few times Mom proudly showed me how low her sugar was and it wasn’t until I talked to the nurse that I learned the dangers of such and the damage that is done to brain cells each time this occurs. It was eye opening in regards to her strange behavior and flooded me with compassion and a much better understanding of what she might be going through.

It was my first Sunday in Germany as the pieces fell into place for me. I felt as if I had learned another lesson in regards to Mom, her life and how it ultimately connects and impacts mine. The tension was mellow compared to the past five days and for the first time since my arrival, the peace pipe was lit and burning a feeling of comfort into my soul. I want to inhale the magic as long as possible as it offered a beautiful glimpse of what could be, if and when all the crazy subsides. I didn’t feel all that well as I got up and besides the RA acting up, I felt dizzy and clammy. I slept late and was still yawning after I got up, usually a sign of getting sick. Hopefully that would not be the case, even though I was already sick in the sense of being sick and tired of fighting and arguing. 

Our original idea to have lunch at a guesthouse went out of the window, due to eating breakfast so late. Prior to the fights subsiding, I had read that there was a flea market in the next town over. It would be a neat place to check out and a welcome escape from the low blows. That idea went out the window as well since the mood miraculously changed and I didn’t want to leave the peaceful atmosphere. This was what I came for, time with Mom and I wasn’t going anywhere. Who knew what the next moment would bring and if it wasn’t going to last. I was going to soak up each moment as one of my fondest memories and be grateful for the gift of experiencing the bond between us. I even managed a few minor repairs in the house that were simple enough, yet a big deal for Mom. Things went well, she saw the progress and end result and in return her trust grew which allowed for me to do these things. I felt like I was contributing, even if it was on the tiniest scale of making her life a little easier. 

Mom talked a lot today and for the first time we didn’t just sit, side by side, starring off into the distance, without regard of the others presence. The mood lastet all day and it was wonderful. Thank you everybody for sending warm vibes and energy for this to happen. You did it, and it was a day I will always hold dear to my heart. Besides the minor repairs, I washed Mom’s hair today and cooked another meal in the evening. This time went much better and I think she was grateful for a warm meal. We are not at the point she would say so or admit it, but I know and some things don’t need to be spoken. I found it funny and an honor that while I did the dishes and the leftovers cooled on the table in front of her, the remains were shrinking as she continued to snack and couldn’t keep her hands off of the delicious goods. I think it was a winner and while I was happy, I also felt a bit of sadness creep up, knowing that on her own, all alone, her meals consist of cold food and that she doesn’t cook for herself anymore. 

The lesson learned today was one for the need of purpose. I have grown to be a independent and responsible woman, I have always made it on my own and I never had to ask for help to be bailed out of any situation. Not that I have been spared from those situations. Being gone for so many years, Mom knows relatively little from my life and remembers me as her little girl. A person that she could guide and teach a few things, while instilling values and morales. She never really got to see how these lessons turned out because I moved away. And although I never got into trouble on a serious note, she would not be able to see how these lessons unfolded in my day to day life. I feel that in a sense I took away that purpose from her, leaving her lonely and perhaps feeling useless and helpless. She never grew with me over the years of being gone and how could she have? She had her memories of the past but couldn’t join the celebration of lessons I learned along the way. I decided to play dumb and give her a feeling of purpose back. A feeling of contributing and being a part of my life, instead of being on the sidelines and watching her daughter play out the lessons she had learned over the years on her own. Without the help of her mother. Of course I had no clue initially if any of this was the case and if it would change things, but it did and the peace pipe burned all day while I never moved from her side. 

Posted in Life

Tough as stone 

It’s been almost a week since I arrived in Germany and it’s my first weekend here. Time flew by, but it feels like a mixture of things. Little short trips here and there to the grocery store or running other errands, while hanging out with Mom, cooking and doing the little chores she allows me to do. The week passed by without much significant highlight if I consider that I’m on vacation. It’s a good and a bad thing, as there has been time to breathe but also time that feels completely wasted. The weather has been holding, but I haven’t taken a hike and feel the need to get out, walk and take some pictures. I haven’t taken a single picture with the camera, just a few with my phone so far. Days are filled with glimpses of peace of how things could be, but mostly it is the anger and disgust she feels for me that is winning, holding the upper hand. I’m here and yet there is nothing to say, just awkward silence. Today she mentioned that she didn’t tell me to come, yet I am expected to move and stay for good. I will not subject myself to her rage even if I move. I was invited to a family BBQ last night and it was a great way to see many of my family members that I haven’t seen in quite awhile. I got home late, but to my surprise Mom was still woke. I could have sworn the cat was upstairs keeping her company as I heard her talk. Her door was locked and I stood and listened. It sounded like she was in pain from the open sores she has in her legs. A result of skipping her water tablets, but not something she believes or something you could make her understand. I wasn’t sure if everything was ok and I decided to knock. Eventually she opened and we sat for awhile. She was cordial, telling me about her music show she had watched while showing me different craft articles in her magazine. We went to bed around midnight and said our goodnight. It was short lived, but I enjoyed the brief, kind and normal interaction with her. I even felt somewhat useful as if she enjoyed my company.

Last night was long forgotten by this morning and Mom started the day with arguments and a raised voice. Maybe she is bi-polar and mentally unstable, I’m not sure and this time is different than all the others. We always fought and had different opinions, we never had a close relationship and perhaps me not staying for good, has sent her over the edge. I got up and left, I wasn’t going to start my day in the same fashion we had the prior days. I’m done trying to convey a different side and there is no use. Help can not be given when help is not accepted. I might as well run against a wall, same difference. I will not say “never” but I will try my best to avoid the arguments. She will no longer get that from me and perhaps in some ways it’s a little like giving up on my part. I have learned that arguments won’t solve anything, no matter with what urgency I’m trying to convey the situation. I don’t have months to do so, but she is not open minded and all efforts from this week have been unsuccessful. I stayed downstairs for awhile and returned later. The arguments have stopped, but switched over to the ignoring and silent treatment. It’s incredible how far I travelled in order to sit here, breathing the same air, with nothing to say. I feel tolerated even though she must have told me a dozen of times already to pack up and get out. Sadly, I’m almost at the point that I hope she will be admitted on Tuesday into the hospital when we return to the appointment she was suppose to have last Tuesday. She got lucky that something went wrong and she bought herself a week with her daughter that could have been used a multitude of ways. And sadly, she couldn’t get past her feelings of contempt that she holds for me. Again I am reminded of my “Rock Bottom” oracle card and the complete surrender that it calls for. To give in and allow the situation to unfold without the need to be in control. Surrender…I’m trying, but a move like these needs some insights. 

I’m not sure what to think of the RA. While my feet are better, it is my left wrist that is killing me daily. The hands and joints are definitely swollen which brings trouble and grief. I need to mop floors and will figure out how to tackle this obstacle. But for tonight I’m looking forward to a night out with my cousins and a comedy at the movies. A brilliant idea from my cousin and dear friend Moni who is trying to bring a little sunshine to my day with some laughter. It is much appreciated.

Posted in Life

Anger Pains

Where do I even begin? I’m working through anger, disbelief, and simply being dumbfounded. No matter how much I’m trying to shrug things off, or not to let things get under my skin, there are more and more w?t?f?moments. It sounds rough, but I can no longer make any sense of what is happening. Twenty minutes must have passed since I sat down to write, but all I’m doing is starring at the blank screen, unsure of how to begin to summoning my thoughts. I’m lost for words and I’m losing the basis and foundation of this whole undertaking and purpose of this visit. I got to see my lifelong girlfriend Angie tonight. She has always been there for me, often being my sounding block, helping me move mountains and collaborating plots for progress with Mom. Each visit brings new worries and drama and I feel bad of how little time we had in past years to just be. To just enjoy each other’s company as best friends, without the drama from my side. Yet you wouldn’t here a single complain from here and she wouldn’t have it any other way. She is a living guardian angel to me and I can’t put into words the meaning she brings to my life. She opened the door and it was wonderful to see her, we hugged. Tightly, I was clinging onto her for a long time it seemed, feeling her wanting to let go and me pulling her even closer. The tension from the passed days left my body through tears, unannounced and without warning. “Oh my God that bad” was all she could say, understanding that yet another battle was to be fought during this visit. 

Times have been tough here and Mom is not able to let go of her anger and bitterness she holds towards me. The tension is due to me leaving her behind as she calls my departure to a different country. It has built over the years and gets stronger the longer I’m away. There has been no resolve for many years and I feel that I’m close to reaching a breaking point. Again I am thinking back to my Rock Bottom oracle card and the meaning of not being able to go on in the same fashion I have been. I have tried over and over to make peace with Mom, but I’m beginning to believe that nothing will ever change the disgust she feels for me. Even if I was to return, I can’t picture that she would forgive me for the years passed. It’s obvious that she thinks that no good daughter, mind you an only daughter would do such a thing and leave her mother behind. I don’t know how to fix things with her and maybe this is not what this trip was meant to be. Maybe it is to realize that things are beyond the point of fixing. She thinks that I’m responsible for her life, the house and her care and this is where my place is, regardless of my own life and situation. Her anger and withdrawal of all love is my punishment and her way of paying back the pain I have caused her by leaving. I never knew she wanted me to stay and feelings are taboo with Mom. The one thing I ever wanted, a Mother / Daughter relationship is withheld from me and out of reach. 

It was interesting to cook a meal today and it’s obvious that I can’t do anything right. I wonder how I survived on my own for so long. It’s been a week of truths and revelations, aha-moments and realizations, and I have learned a lot. I’m still chasing a ghost, a mothers love that was never meant for me. Angie asked me how many more years I’m willing to let this continue and allow the psychological stress to ruin my health. I don’t know and I’m not even sure if it’s in my control just yet. From my end, the Daughter / Mother bond is strong and was always something I hoped to have and strengthen. Regardless the mean things she has said to me during the short time of being here, there are definitely moments I despise her, but the anger never lasts. Maybe just like her, my love for her will once be replaced with feelings similar as the ones she holds for me. I’m not there yet and in the meantime I remain a puppet for the whipping of Mom’s moods and how she sees fit of treating me. 

This week’s insights were rough but tomorrow is another day….
I have learned that my life was given to me, but was never meant to be my own. I challenge that and it is perhaps the very problem. 

I have learned that even if I was here, there is no help that can be given as long as no help is accepted. There has to be realization that there is a need. 

I have learned that bitterness, disgust and disrespect for me runs deeper than any shred of love ever has. It has been replaced and I’m not worthy of anything else in her eyes. 

I have learned that a Mother/Daughter relationship will remain to be an elusive dream and that it will take a miracle for anything more. 

I have learned that I’m stupid, too dumb, that I know nothing and that I will never amount to anything. Of course I do know better, but I don’t have to prove it. Even though my mother, she is ONE person who believes such shitty thing and she is the minority.
Angie’s heart bleeds for me as she tries to understand where I find the strengths to endure the punishment. Besides that I have also learned something without the directness from my mom despite her influence for such. 

I have a breaking point and eventually the day might come that I will stay away as she will have pushed me once too many times. All hope will have vanished and the “stupid” shroud will lift to reveal with clarity that I can no longer chase after what’s not meant to be. If hate and disgust is all she feels for me, I don’t see how this will continue. Perhaps it would be much better to stay out of her life and save her the disappointment, disgrace and shame. 

I know it’s the anger talking but I had to get it off of my chest as I do not want to carry this energy around with me. 

Posted in Life

The arrival 

Travel day was smooth for the most part and it helped to split the long flight up with a connection in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was a four hour flight from Sacramento and my connecting flight to Frankfurt Germany will take another 8+hours. Flying into Frankfurt was gray with low hanging fog. The top of a few skyscrapers from the city-line were piercing through the cloud-fog cover and gave a mysterious appearance. Germany would stay hidden from me for a little while longer and keep its surroundings largely at a secret. After exiting the plane, I walked up to the luggage carousel from a quick bathroom break and saw my suitcase coming down the belt, only a few feet from me, it was perfect. A few people (other passengers) even looked at me a bit funny and perhaps they had waited awhile already and I made it look so easy, walking up and grabbing my case. I managed to handle my luggage without a cart and walked right through customs. No note and nothing, I would later find that my suitcase made it through untouched and unopened. A first, I think. I was surprised and elated that the rental car counter was right outside the gate and that I didn’t have to go far at all. This flight came in through a different terminal, much closer to the rental counter and without any escalators and stairs to tackle, awesome. Little did I know that all the smoothness was about to end. “What do you mean there is no car reservation under my name” I said. Quickly we discovered that the reservation was made for a different location by accident instead of the airport location. I enjoyed a 15 minute taxi ride, through fog and heavy morning traffic to the heart of Frankfurt (which I was trying to avoid), while trying to remember to find my way back out once I got the car. Everything was ok, but it was me who created a little bit of stress for myself, about the fog, not having driven in Germany for over two years and then with a foreign vehicle etc. and just wait till you see the vehicle hahaha. Not at all what I expected, but it’s growing on me and it’s great practice for what’s to come times ten or so. Well, it did have navigation, and so it did eliminated the stress of finding my way through the concrete jungle. And I still took a wrong turn. Ha. 

Finally I was free and on the A3, the Autobahn that would lead me to my Mom’s house. Let’s see how fast this thing drives….just kidding and not yet and definitely not through the fog. I drove for awhile getting a feel for the car and the surrounding traffic before I finally stopped at a rest stop. It was time to freshen up and make myself as presentable as possible for “The big meeting” with Mom (ridiculous), and it was there in the parking lot that I had my first “Wiener Schnitzel”, my favorite drink and a Pretzel. Man was it delicious, I could definitely get used to it and it was good to be home. I took my time driving towards my Mom’s house and drove through the country in parts, leaving the autobahn and the speed behind. There was much to take in and I had finally arrived. The fog had lifted for the most part, making the drive much easier, but there was still plenty hidden in the unknown that was lying ahead of me. My mind continued to replay the scenarios of endless possibilities, but eventually, the closer I made to the house, the more relaxed I got and the less I worried. It was out of my control and there was nothing I could do. Perhaps even how it was meant to be.

Mom was at the bottom of the stairs, tending to her adopted stray cat as I came into the house and a smile indicated that she was genuinely happy to see me. Right away she pointed out some dirt in the corners, while explaining her dilemma of not being able to keep up. Second she stated that she has to go see another doctor tomorrow and that she might be admitted into the hospital. “You picked a great time for a visit” followed next, as if signaling the end of pleasantries. I was too tired to care and for the first time I started to feel the long haul catching up. I was exhausted, starting to feel nauseous and sick. I managed to vacuum Mom’s kitchen (don’t ask) and she wanted to go eat since she didn’t have any food in the house. She had no clue that I felt as if I had travelled around the world and that I was tired. I should have not freshened up and perhaps I looked better than I felt. I would have to remind her several times that some things just have to wait for now. “Why” she would exclaim over and over, unable to understand. And of course there was that comment about the outfit I wore and my hair (I’m not sure if it would have made a difference, had the straightener not broke) and I got to say my prepared response that I wasn’t pursuing a fashion show during the approximately 36 hours from the time I last slept. I even added that I would wonder how she looked if she had just undergone such a long trip, asking her if she could even imagine. Of course not and she has never visited me in all the years. There as no response. Are you kidding me? I blew the little indicators off, and took some valued advice. The first days are crucial, have patience, relax and take some deep breaths. I did all of it. Geeeee….

After a short debate, I took her to her favorite place, fortress Colmberg, a now privately owned medieval hotel / guesthouse. We sat in the sunroom addition with coffee and cake while overlooking the land. She lightened up, just like the sun that was shining through the Glas, warming up the day while the storm clouds and showers were still lingering. Eventually we left and I decided, now with my 10th wind and another boost of sudden energy from the cake, that we would take a little drive through the country. Mom enjoyed the ride, being out of the house and seeing something else. We stopped for groceries on the way home, but walking remains to be a huge challenge. I can’t lie about how awful it was to see Mom’s legs. I’m truly surprised she still has them and they have not been amputated. Maybe it is just now that they are worse and they are not always as bad. I sure hope so but I’m not sure, I only know they are worse than I remember from the last visit. But for today, all is well and tomorrow is another day that can bring a different message. It will come either way but for today Mom got to spend time at one of her favorite of places.  

Posted in Life


I’m still in the air and the majority of the flight has been in darkness. As I look out the tiny oval window, I see the vast unknown lit up by sparkling stars, and I can’t help but think of what lies ahead. I lucked out and got two seats to myself, but I still can’t sleep and instead countless scenarios flood my mind about the reunion with my Mom. I wonder how she imagines me or what the initial moment will be like when she sees me. She is outspoken and I’m bracing for her directness that might wound my heart if I don’t relate to her estranged way of joking. She has forgotten how to properly communicate and interact and I feel as if I might get the brunt of it. I’m sure she is not going to approve of my sweats and casual shirt, but this long haul was not meant as a fashion show to me. I wanted to be as comfortable as possible and didn’t know what to expect with the RA. The pills and the adrenaline is working and I’m holding up, thank you steroids and ibuprofen. I’m afraid she won’t be able to relate or consider this and most likely she won’t be able to leave behind the shallow statements. I’m prepared….I think and I hope. I’m not trying to portray her as cold and unthoughtful, I’m just releasing my thoughts, confiding in this blog and in you. Most likely a few days will have past if and when I can post this, so everything will always be behind. 

You would have it that my straightener broke this morning and I couldn’t doll up my hair. Curly it is now and unruly to her I’m sure. It’s either too flat on my face if it’s straight or it appears as if it is not taken care of and maintained. Well it’s definitely not flat and straight this time. It will also be the first time that she can see all the gray process of my hair and while I have come to love my silver, I’m not sure what she will say. Apparently her hair is completely white but I have seen no picture of her in two years and don’t know what to expect.

So here I am and as I sit here and stare into the darkness I see much that is unknown ahead of me. The answers are lurking out there somewhere with some soon to be revealed I hope. But I also see brilliant moments and it is in the stars that shine my way through the night sky out there. I hold on and embrace the sparkle while reminding myself that no star could shine without darkness. Everything will be ok, but I know a decision is awaiting and needs to be made.