Missing Family

I had LOML print up a copy of my blog for my grandparents back at home to read.  They don’t have the internet and probably don’t have the slightest clue how to even turn a computer on.  My grandmother had an email address for a while when she was watching my younger cousins full-time.  But, she didn’t check it for a while and it expired.  : )  Her older sister just got a FB account, so maybe Grandma needs to step up her game to keep up with her sister.

My parents brought one copy of the blog printout home with them as they live nearby my grandparents.  My brother, Baron, brought the printout to them.  He got to watch my Grandpa read it.  He said Grandpa was laughing and thoroughly enjoyed it.  They weren’t there when Grandma read it, but she called to say she loved it.  All of the photos are in there, so they were able to get a glimpse of their only great-grandchildren.

I have another copy that needs to get mailed out to my other Grandmother who lives in the mid-west.

This is the kind of thing that makes me really sad to be so very far away from my family.  I miss my family a lot.  We are a very close and big family that does so many things together.  Growing up we would spend just about every Sunday after church at my grandparent’s house.  We’d eat lunch and go swimming if it was warm enough.  Otherwise we’d hang out, play games, talk.  For big holidays (read that every holiday) we would have EVERYONE over — parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, great-aunts and uncles, second cousins, great-grandparents.  It was unusual to have less than 20 people — 20 of our family — there for gatherings.  Growing up, this was normal.  Only when I got a little older did I realize other people rarely had 20 people over, let alone 20 of their family members over.

My siblings and I are pretty close.  We kind of had to be.  Growing up we lived in a 3 bedroom house with 7 people.  My three brothers shared a bedroom, my sister and I shared a room and my parents got the last room.  It was a small house for 7 full-sized humans.  (That’s why we never had pets!)  The first of us to move away was my youngest brother who went to school on the other side of the country almost 2 years ago.  Until then all 5 of us had always lived in the city we were born and grew up in.

LOML and I talk about the differences with our siblings.  He and his sisters have lived in different places for years now.  Me and my siblings are just beginning to experience that.

My little sister was Big Ive’s nanny for a year (and Little E for a few months before we moved).  She is probably one of my best friends and I miss our conversations, her listening to all of my crazy thoughts, and giving into my odd cravings around town.

I miss the crazy impromptu family dinners we would have back home.  My brother and his wife would come to my parents house where my sister, older brother and me and my family would be eating supper.  Nothing to celebrate.  Nothing planned much ahead of time.  Just nice family time with lots of laughter and time spent together.

My grandmothers both hugged me like they would never see me again at my going-away parties.  They cried.  It made my eyes well up.

I took a trip back to my mom’s home town for Thanksgiving before we moved to Germany so I could make sure I could see my Grandma.  She is doing really well at the young age of 87, but you never know what tomorrow will bring.  A sad thought, yes, but it is reality.  She needed to meet Little E, too.  When Big Ive was 3 months old I flew up there with her by myself.  This trip I flew up there with my mom and both girls.  It was a fantastic trip.  And this time my Grandma didn’t break her ankle!  Thanksgiving with my mom’s sisters and family was a lot of fun.

It’s hard to be away from my family living here.  We’re all alone.  I’ve never been all alone.  My family has been a quick (local!) phone call or 20 minute drive away my entire life.  I miss not being able to call my mom in the mornings.  We usually skype in the afternoons, but I would really like conversation in the mornings here.

My sister-in-law is going to have a baby any day now.  We won’t be able to drive over to see them to meet the baby.

The girls and I are trying out best to assimilate into our new village.  Going to play group and school each week is helping Big Ive get used to the other kids.  Little E loves the stimulation of all the sights and kids running around.  I’m getting to know some of the other moms and kids around here.  Playing the in band has given me instant camaraderie with my fellow musicians.  I may not speak German, but music is our shared language.  I was nervous at first, but each time I go I feel more and more comfortable.  Walking around town, visiting the village butcher and quickie mart, going to the restaurant in town, makes it so other people see us around here and know we want to be a part of this German life.  I’m almost positive by the time we leave we’ll be sad to leave all our new friends and ‘family’.

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