Up by 5:00AM, and out by 6:10. We headed to the airport right after breakfast. All five of us packed into Annegret's car and went on our way. Annegret was driving really fast on back roads, because we were a little behind on time. When we finally got to the Autobahn, the car overheated. So, we had to pull over and give the engine some cool water. Then we were off again.
Not long after, we hit traffic. Luckily it was not at a standstill. We slowly, but surely, made our way to the Tegel exit. Eventually, we got to the terminal, only ten minutes late. I checked in and got my tickets only to find out that my flight had been delayed for another three hours. This turned out to be a good thing because that meant three hours less in Newark.
So, for the next two hours, I played Mühle with Doreen and Annegret on a miniature travel board. I also gave Mathilda a present I bought for her yesterday, a baby horse figure. Eventually the time came to say goodbye. We stood in-line waiting to go through the passport check point, while Annegret and Mathilda schmoozed with the people at the ticket counter. Mathilda had them wrapped around her finger. Before it was my turn to go through, Dietmar shook my hand, Mathilda and Doreen gave me a hug, and Annegret told me that we had a beautiful time together as she hugged me.
We both had tears in our eyes, and I was lost for words. But in that moment, we both understood what we wanted to say. We mourned the moment of departure while taking joy that we had such a memorable time together, knowing that I would come back. I don't know how to put it into words or explain why it is so important that I come back. I have discovered a part of my Oma in Germany that I wish I could have known better while she was alive. Her sprit touched the lives of so many. And as I have walked in her footsteps for a bit, I understand. I understand the beauty of the culture and lifestyle she held onto. I understand the importance she found in family and friends. I understand her soul a little bit more. And as Annegret and I shared a blurred view of eachother, I saw the love that is more valuable than any material item man could ever attain. After I went through security, I caught one last glimpse of Annegret and Dietmar. I put up my hand and made the sign language "I love You." Then Annegret raised her hand and made the same.
Today was not a goodbye. It was the day I received a key to the door that Oma and my father have worked so hard to build and maintain. Today, I have added to a legacy.