mardi, juin 08, 2010

A day like no other

Just came home from a week spent in Basel. It was a very special trip, since on Sunday, I met my paternal side family, my Grandmother, my aunt and my uncle.

I really cannot put it into words. The emotional impact was enormous.
I went trough the whole range of possible feelings. It began with fear and anxiety when waiting at home for the time to go down the street to Grandmothers apartment: Those last hours before the moment I would finally face my family, 44 years after my birth, were like - well, waiting for an execution or something.
Then it was joy to see them and also to get aware that my aunt and uncle are such decent and nice people.  It was also a feeling that can't be described when they showed me photos of my father. Until now, I only had one single photo of him, from the marriage with my mom. And now, all of a sudden, I had a fist full of Pictures in my hand, showing him in his Life he had in America, where he apparently moved to when I was 7. There he became an US Citizen. It was also - yes - anger, when I saw him riding horses, having cats and dogs, living the life I would have liked to share with him. Did he really never spent one single thought on me during all this years? Did he ever think "today, my daughter has reached 20 years, how may she look?" I Will never know.

And then it was deep grief when I learned how he died, because of brain cancer - on August 25, 2009.
I remember very well this day: it was also the day Ted Kennedy died - because of the exact same disease! What a mad coincidence!  I remember how sad I was back then, without knowing that I should mourn my father, too.
And then there was my Grandmother who purposely hid the knowledge of my existence to her other children, and who at my birth, pretended that I wasn't her son's daughter -  and who now, had to face me. Should I be mad at her? She's just a very old lady, with beginning dementia.
During my visit, I never was sure if she really got it who I was. She sat with us around the table and looked at me. When she talked, it seemed that she wasn't even aware on how special the situation was. Just once, she suddenly had a tear in the eye and said: "It was a hard time back then" - as if she tried to make an apology. Then she was distracted again and the sparkle got lost.
When I finally prepared to leave, she suddenly said "You have your fathers eyes". She repeated it several times. When I went to her to say goodbye, she took my hand and looked at me with eyes, that seemed to carry the whole sadness of the world. She said "take care of yourself, please!" Then I saw that she understood. 44 lost years -  compiled in one, single moment. She has done wrong, but she is my Grandmother and I can't help but loving her.

On the way home, I couldn't stop crying.

It was one of the most intense experiences I ever had in my life. And it will take time for me to sort things out. It is very difficult for my aunt and uncle, too. They seemed to be aware that their parents didn't tell them the whole truth about my father and my mother, but to learn to which extend they were deceived and lied at, was pretty hard for them both.
Well, a lie of 44 years has now been put right. I really hope very much that this will mark a new beginning in our lives.

Other news:

*In Basel, The Butcher who exhibit my work was happy to tell me that one picture was sold. He paid me out and we both were very glad. This is just too cool!
*The asshole neighbors probably had to face the Mayor, I don't know how the meeting was by yet, but my mom found a letter from them at Sunday, where they tell us that they are NOT willing to stop hooning, since they think that it is their freedom and right to do so and that we are just intolerant people. I knew it. Fuck them assholes! I really hope we can move out from here as soon as possible.
* I will go catching up with answering comments and the reading of your blogs by tomorrow. For today, I am exhaust from train travelling

5 commentaires:

Dryade a dit…

Ich finde es toll, das du trotz all dem "Schxxxx" mit den Nachbarn und der Wohnungssuche, dennoch die Kraft gefunden hast und den Schritt gewagt hast und deine Familie getroffen hast :-). Es hört sich wie der Anfang von etwas neuem an ...
Ich wünsche dir von Herzen alles Gute für den neuen Weg und das ihr nun ganz schnell ein neues Haus findet!!
liebe Grüße von der Dryade

Feronia a dit…

What an incredible day for you, Diana, and how well you've dealt with it - with so much calm, forgiveness and generosity of spirit. I wish you all good things in your future relationship with your family. I also wish for a speedy and satisfactory resolution for you with regards to your horrible neighbours.

Diana Kennedy a dit…

@Dryade, Ja, das ganze war natürlich eine emotionale Doppelbelastung. Aber auch irgendwo ganz gut auf diese Weise zu erkennen, das Leben besteht nicht nur aus den verdammten Nachbarn.

@Feronia: Forgiveness is the only way to a new beginning. The bad energy has been frozen and therefore kept alive for too long a time. The only way out from he neighborhood-Situation is the ability to sell this house. I really hope it will be possible.

Bodecea a dit…

Das war sicher sehr ergreifend mit deiner Familie... ich freu mich für dich, dass da alte Wunden endlich etwas heilen können!

Bodecea

Sefarina a dit…

Was für ein Erlebnis, und wie schön dass es so friedlich verlief. Ich wünsche dir, dass es Vorzeichen eines guten Neustarts war!