As many of you know, my mother and I are going on a trip to Europe beginning on September 16th. I am not making this post to brag or wave it in anyone’s face. This post is personal and all about what it means to me and why this fortunate series of events is a gift to me and my mom.
Many of you know that my Aunt Caryl passed away at age 71 in October 2011 because of Alzheimer’s. Less than 2 years later, in February 2013, my grandmother Corinne passed away at the age of 95. And most shockingly, my Uncle Michael, my mother’s brother, passed away at the age of 61 in June 2014 somewhat suddenly (to us) due to stomach cancer. All of these people were cornerstones in my mother’s life and they have dropped like flies and she prays that no one else follows suit. Previously, my mother’s cousin, Franz, passed away through suicide back in 2009. He was an anesthesiologist in Los Angeles and he was about my mother’s age. He and my mother had tentative plans to go to Sweden together and those plans were kicked aside as soon as all of these deaths started taking place.
As hard as I may have been hit with these deaths, I know my mother was hit much harder with all of these. It pains me to think of all she has been through the last 5 years or so and I felt bad because as all of these deaths were taking place, my life seemed to be taking off. So, on top of everything else, I was moving out of my parent’s house and my mother, in a way, felt like she was losing me too. It really makes me want to cry. Not because of the past though. I cry because there really is a silver lining to all of this. At least, that’s what I think it is. Our trip to Sweden that we have planned is the silver lining to the story because I don’t think there could have been more perfect timing for us to receive a letter in the mail from our cousins that we did not realize we had. This letter from a young Swedish girl, Elin, changed our lives, in a way. We began corresponding and this led us to plan a trip over to see them! Lo and behold, while we have lost so many people, we gained a LOT more family members, ones we will be sure and hold onto. Read my previous blog post to see more specifically about our distant relatives if you are interested.
All in all, what I really want to say is that although I am very happy about the way things have unfolded, I am even more happy for my mother because I bet she see things this way too and she has unfortunately undergone a ton of suffering. When I think about our trip and all of the emotional significance of it, I see my mother finally receiving a gift that has been long overdue. And boy, does she deserve it after all of the hard work she has put into caring specifically for Aunt Caryl and Grandma Corinne the last several years. It’s so wonderful when things finally come full circle and start to make some sense.
I have not put any pressure on her to plan the trip as I want her to have the luxury of not worrying about any of that. And….you have to be good at using the internet in order to do that, haha, sorry mom. Anyways, I guess that is it. It’s definitely something that we will treasure for the rest of our lives. 9 DAYS TO GO!