Sunday, August 03, 2008

U. & Astrid are traveling to Germany alone

I drove them both to the airport, helped with their luggage and then had to say good-bye. U.' s mother (Astrid's Grandmother - aka "Oma") is very ill. She has terminal cancer, but that's not what's killing her. Her liver is shutting down and she can no longer eat. It's just a matter of time, days, weeks, who knows - before she dies. Due to work commitments and such, I could not join them on this trip.

We tried to explain to Astrid that she would be traveling with Papa to Germany to see Oma and I wouldn't be going with them. At times she seemed to understand but then the next moment she's ask "You come with us Mama? I want you to come with us." And then there was the confusion between "Grandma" (my mom) and "Oma" (U.'s mom). And she's been wanting to get on that airplane since yesterday (yes, she's our daughter for sure - since she LOVES to travel). And she's excited about going to Oma's house in Germany. It'll be Astrid's 2nd time in Germany.

Two weeks alone with Papa, and no Mama - is going to be tough for U. Especially since all that he's going through - his father died recently, and he was just in Germany for his funeral - and now he's back again in his home town to spend time with his mother and have that final conversation with her before she's unable to speak coherently (she wears morphine patches and is taking lots of medication and is less than 100 pounds).

Astrid and I had a long conversation about what is happening - so she knows Oma is very sick. Astrid asked me if Oma was in the hospital - so she gets the concept. But she's so sick that there's nothing the hospital can do for her - they recommended a hospice so she can prepare for dying - but she wanted to return home - so they released her and she has 3 nurses her visit her each day.

On a positive note, dealing with all the family drama - it will be nice to have Astrid there, and her Oma will be happy to see her again. Also, it'll be good for U. and Astrid have 2 weeks together to bond and get really close. And Astrid will get to meet her cousin for the first time (U's niece). And we are hoping that a 2 week immersion in German will kick start her German language skills.

I made Astrid promise she wouldn't cry when I left. Her response was, "But I'm going to miss you." When I did say good-bye at the airport she didn't want to really hug me - as if she didn't want to acknowledge the good-bye. But she still cried a little bit. U. cried too, which pained me even more.

We're going to be talking on Skype with a video cam everyday so we can see and hear each other. But it was a bittersweet good-bye.

My top priority while they're gone is to get stuff done around the house. Home improvement/repair projects and such that have been put on the back burner. I hope to get estimates and have a lot of it done before they come home - so it'll be an even sweeter home welcoming.

I miss them both already.


Claudia said...

We have never met, but I found your site when I was searching for my daughters 100th celebration.... I am hispanic and my husband is korean....
Astrid is a beautiful toddler....
Reading this post is pretty sad to think that any family has to go thru this.... Your family will be in my prayers!!!

Amy said...

Wow...this time is bound to be tough on everyone. The silver lining is, as you said, Astrid will be with her daddy to give him moments of happiness during the sadness. It will be good for them to have the time together, too.

My thoughts and prayers are with your family.