I had planned to share more of our last weeks in Germany at a time of year when Germany shines and have mentally prepared several posts that never got written. I picked up proverbial pen and paper several times, but always put it back down.
Since the last post, we had our little village’s Christmas market, a one day affair always held on the first Advent Sunday, and yesterday there was a visit from St. Nikolaus. The markets are open, the Christmas lights are shining bright and Christmas party season is in full swing but each day I feel more disconnected from it all, caught in between worlds because we are not here or there.
Expat observations feel a little too been there, done that. As much as we have tried to keep a sense of normalcy up to the last minute, to keep stress and sadness in check, to show our son that the present moment is always the most important and you always make the most of it, every event is overshadowed with the ever present “THE LAST” in front of whatever event it is.
We tried to contain farewell events to November, to decouple them from the increasing sense of impending loss that is escalating with each day and each hour. The inevitability and the reality and the magnitude of what is in front of us is getting harder to shove aside or bury in denial. Amid the excitement to start a new adventure and experience America for the first time (or again), a feeling best described as grief is rearing its head.
Without a doubt, we lived life to the fullest during our time here and Germany has been so good to us. Knowing about our move for the last six months allowed us to maximize all our farewell activities. I’m grateful for that. I’ve never been someone to second guess a decision, and I’m not starting now, but I do admit it is sad to see one potential life path closing for our family, even knowing new possibilities are opening up to us.
So there we are, lingering in the “in-between”, doors simultaneously closing and opening, sad to go, happy to go, anxiously wondering what is in store, while living in the moment gets a little bit harder each remaining day.
We have said our goodbyes. It must be time to go.