Many years ago at about this time in December my mother, brother and I left Germany from the airport in Hamburg. We were on our way to North Platte, NE where my father would be waiting to to be reunited with his family after an 8 month separation …he having come before us by way of an ocean liner to New York and then by train to live in a small farming community in Elwood Nebraska. We were people from the North, specifically the North West coastal area. All the rest of our relatives and friends remained there and at that time we believed that we would probably never see them again. Fortunately that turned out not to be true.
My grandparents were married for 62 years and after my grandmother died, my grandfather moved to an apartment in a senior residence facility where he welcomed my mother, his daughter once a year until his death at 102. During these visits my mother was delighted to experience the healthy North Sea air, enjoy all foods German, especially her beloved fish, freshly caught the night before and offered at the Friday farmer’s market in the town square.
In addition, she had the privilege of staying with her dearest friend in a neighboring village and sharing life present , as well as past …bonded together by friendship and shared experience in good and terrible times. In addition to this relationship she was also blessed to know as an older women the love and friendship of her friend’s only son and daughter-in-law who welcomed her into their lives. In the years after her friend died they loved her as their own. After my mother’s death 6 years ago my family and I traveled back to Germany to honor my mother’s wish to have her ashes spread on the North Sea. Her “adopted adult children” joined us as we traveled on a small ship on a rough sea day to say goodbye.
Next week, I’m flying back to Hamburg for Christmas where my mom’s friend’s children will meet me at the airport and take me home with them for a Christmas visit.
Today’s image: My mom on the left and her friend beside her.
Wishing you all a time of reflection and memory of the friends of your journey.
Blessings in your transitions, comfort for your losses, and hope for a new year coming.