It seems impossible to believe that I was in the States for an entire month. In the first few years of our marriage, I would often book 6 week summers at home. The booking would always happen as the result of a fight, and surprisingly, by the time summer break came, I could not get out the door fast enough. In the past few years though, I have been tapering down, and last summer, I stayed in Germany the entire time.
This trip home was difficult for many reasons, and wonderful for many reasons. The difficulties obviously lay with the situation with my mother and stepfather. Dealing with the stress of planning care and assistance for two people who do not yet see the need, and just the daily stress of going to therapy, doctors, and other health related sessions got to be quite a drag. Add to that my stepfather and his illness, which has definately had an impact on his personality, and it made for a very tough 4 weeks.
To offset the stress though, I made sure to spend plenty of time with my family. I had such a wonderful time with my dad, my aunt, and my cousins. It is so amazing to watch how relationships have changed as my cousins and myself have grown up. I really am thankful to have had the time to spend with my family.
Fast forward to Friday, when I finally landed at the Stuttgart Airport. There was nothing I wanted more than to be back with Joern. It was wonderful to be home (in Germany), but most importantly, it was wonderful to be back with my husband. I spent quite a lot of time over the past month reflecting on the changes in our marriage. I was so upset at the prospect of spending a month without Joern. I have to admit, it was tough. In those early years, I would busy myself doing anything to keep me from focusing on Joern while I was away. Now, I found myself constantly thinking of Joern, in a quite happy way. My thoughts of Joern kept him close by me despite being half a world away. Seeing what a positive turn our lives have taken really made me happy.
Since I have been back, it has been a return to our version of normal. Sleeping in on weekend mornings. Spending time with Marcel. Running to the grocery store and doing the laundry. I used to think of these everyday tasks as something akin to being in prision. Now, I realize that there is nothing that could make me happier than my little life.