Monday, January 11, 2010

Five years ago today...

Five years ago today I left my adopted hometown and moved to Berlin, Germany.

Five years ago
I awakened to the realization that "This is it". In a few hours I would be on a plane which would carry me across the Atlantic to live with Sweet No.

Five years ago
I gave Frank a "special pill" which would help him remain calm and hopefully help him hold his bladder for over 15 hours.

Five years ago
I called my mother to let her know that today is the day. I explained that my bed was being moved out of the apartment, the microwave was going to a neighbor, the cat box is in the trash (much to the chagrin of the dumpster-diver who crawled in a few minutes later), and "NO MOM, I'm not out of my cotton-picking mind".

Five years ago
I shoved Frank in a leather gym-bag-looking thing and told him that it was going to be just like our "dry runs"... that he would be getting out soon. (I just didn't tell him how long "soon" was.)

Five years ago
I walked away from my father and his wife as they stood in the Wichita airport and waved a bewildered good bye. Later my father confided that he wasn't sure he would ever see me again. This might explain the watery eyes and his strange insistence that I take a twenty dollar bill, "For the way there. You never know, you might just need it." (I still have that twenty. It stayed stashed in a special compartment of my wallet for over four years. Now it is on my desk.)

Five years ago
There was no way for me to explain to him that I had enough money, that I wasn't falling off the face of the Earth, and that I had thought this whole thing through many times. "For pete's sake Dad, I've been planning this a year."

Five years ago
I sat in Paris' Charles de Gaulle Airport and pondered my situation while the cat loudly expressed his discomfort and irritation at his situation. (Occasionally to amuse myself I closed the flaps on the bag and looked around at other people with interest and curiosity as though I too was trying to find the source of the howl which was at a volume and frequency only a Siamese cat can achieve.)

Five years ago
I was met at the Berlin airport by my Sweet No. For what seemed like an eternity we could only see each other through the glass as I waited in the secure area for my baggage. Eventually no new bags came, and yes as feared, once again Air France had lost one of my bags. GREAT. Now I'm even MORE thankful that I decided to pay the extra dough to keep the cat on the plane as carry on baggage. (The joke was on the guy who later had to deliver my bag - which weighed exactly 50.1 pounds - up four flights of stairs.)

Five years ago
I wheeled a cart out of security which held only one of my bags and a very pissy cat.

Five years ago
I knew the instant No and I hugged for the first time as a true "cohabitating couple" that four years of waiting for this moment was way too long and that my decision to move to be with her had been the right one.

Five years later... I look back on this time spent together and know deep in my heart that I have not regretted any of it, not for a moment.

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cliff1976 said...

Aww, that was sweet (except for the pissy cat part. Did the pill help?). I got a little misty.

Thanks, it was nice.

headbang8 said...

Love. It's the best reason. It's the only reason.

Maria said...

You know, I would LOVE to hear the story of how you met....

Expats Again said...

Congratulations of 5 years of happiness and may you have many, many more!

PapaScott said...

Ah, transatlantic travel with cats. We came with three. In Frankfurt we literally had one luggage cart full of luggage and a second full of cats. The personnel were so enthralled that the cats were waved through customs without checking the paperwork we had so carefully prepared, and Lufthansa let them fly the last leg from Frankfurt to Hamburg for free!

Nice to read that you've made your dreams come true.

The Cowgirl said...

Beautiful post...I agree with Maria, would love to hear the story of how you and Sweet No met.

Love the $20 bill story...brought tears to my eyes. It's been 5 years for us too...and I can still remember the call I made to my mom before I boarded the flight to England...she cried and told me to be safe. I'm sure if she'd been there, she would have done the same thing your father did.

Frau said...

Wonderful story of love and taking the leap. I hope your happiness continues.

honeypiehorse said...

You dad sounds adorable. I hope you visit him sometimes.

Yelli said...

Glad you are here! I don't know what I would have done without'cha... You and Sweet No are pretty knowledgeable about Berlin...and life!

Emily said...

That's just lovely! :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your courage, Marce!!

Love you and your pissy kitty :-) - more and more every day.

Sweet NO

Goofball said...

how sweet! That deserves a toast, don't you think.

And give Frank a little pet on his back for me, ok?

Jan said...

Happy Anniversary, dear.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations. Long distance is crap, isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your first five years and may you have 50 more!

G in Berlin said...

Lovely story. Happy anniversary and many more.

The Antiques Diva™ said...

Congrats on the 5 year anniversary - and may your next 5 be overflowing with joy & happiness, more adventures and more fun!!!

Now, we've got talk about that "special pill" you gave Frank to hold his bladder for 15 hours. Think you could hook me up with some for my next international flight??! LOL! I returned to Berlin last Friday after a month in the USA and the flight would have been fine except for continually waking to go to the loo in transit!!!

All the best and Happy New Year,

tqe | Adam said...

What a sweet, wonderful story!

Congratulations on making it to five years.

Goofball said...

Psssst Frank
hey Frank! Yes you, which other cat named Frank is in the house?

Come on over to the keyboard. What's up? Are your bosses ok? They are so quiet? And so are you.

anyway, just coming over to say hi.