Getting Back on Track

I have been very bad about keeping up with things since I moved to Germany. So much had happened in my life it’s distracting. The last entry told about my Granny passing away and I am still dealing with that loss. When I returned to Germany I had to start taking German language lessons the next week.

For me to be able to get a residency visa I had to pass a German language test. My visitors visa was only good until the first week of September so I had until then to learn a new language and pass a basic proficiency test or I would have to go back to the U.S. and would not be able to come back and try again for at least a month.

They wanted me to pass a B1 test but as I only knew three words in German, ja, nein, and schnell, there was not enough time to take the classes needed to learn enough German to pass a B1 test. I did manage to take 2 months of intensive language lessons at the Goethe Institute (if you need to learn the basics of a language quickly I do recommend them!) and pass an A1 exam.

Luckily, it was enough to get a temporary residency visa. Now, I have 2 years to learn more German and pass the tests I will need to get a permanent residency visa. I am required to complete 600 hours of language classes and I have to take an assimilation course to help me to become a part of the German culture. I think it’s a testament to what a total nerd I am that every time  someone mentions the assimilation class to me I hear a voice in my head saying, resistance is futile!

I’m still working on my book. While I was going to the language classes I literally only had time to go to class, do my errands for the house, cook, study, and sleep. I’d get up the next day and repeated that for 2 months. Now that I’m on a break from classes, until we can get me enrolled in the next school, I have been able to make some progress on the book. I have the cover finally finished. It only took about twelve designs for me to come up with one my friends, i.e. my personal market research group, all liked. Now I just have to finish writing it, have a few people edit it for me, and make sure the formatting meets the requirements for the publishing program. I’m shooting for October 1st!

I also quit my job with the movie company when I got back from Kansas. Something just kept telling me I was not going to see any money from this project. When I tried to press the man in charge about this he never directly answered my questions. My husband and I both felt it was better to cut my losses and quit than to invest more time in something that more than likely wasn’t going to pan out. Besides I would not have had time to work on everything I had been put in charge of while I was in school.

After I passed my language test Tony and I were both so happy and feeling relaxed. He had talked our landlords into letting us have a dog and he was going to get me a French Bulldog as a reward for all my hard work to pass my test. We had planned to get up on Friday and call around to a few shelters and rescues here and see if we could find one that needed a home before we started looking into getting one from a breeder. But those plans never happened.

When we got up Tony had a message to contact his sister right away. We found out Tony’s mom had passed away. It was a bit of a shock and yet not. She had suffered from Alzheimer’s for years but recently they had changed doctors and he was having some great results with his treatments. She had put on weight and there was hope she might even start speaking again. Then she passed away.

This had been very hard on Tony. He was very close to his mother and had a great deal of respect for her and everything she had accomplished in life. He booked a flight and went back to Chile the next day for the funeral. Due to cost I was not able to go with him. I didn’t make a fuss or object. He had to go and be with his family, there was no question about that, but we couldn’t afford for me to go too. I understand that. But it was a very hard 10 days for me.

I never got to meet Tony’s mom. We have never been able to afford for both of us to go back to the U.S. or to Chile together. Tickets are so expensive that we are lucky we can each go to our home countries as often as we have. I always imagined meeting her and thanking her for raising such an amazing son. That without her I would not have the wonderful life I have now with Tony and I know I owe her so much. I wanted to tell her she didn’t have to worry about Tony because he is loved and I wanted to promise her that as long as I’m alive I will love him and support him. He will not be alone. But now I will never get that opportunity.

Her death so soon after Granny’s passing it also brought back the feelings from that loss and I had to deal with them all here alone, no family or friends to talk it over with. I couldn’t even talk to my mother about this. She and my father, who had just celebrated their 50th anniversary, were in Florida visiting my sister and two of their grandkids who’s families are there. This was a miracle in that my father rarely leaves Kansas. With his heart condition he does not like to get too far away from his doctors. This trip was something I never thought would happen. So with my parents in Florida on vacation, Tony in Chile with family, I was in Germany all by myself. It was rough.

To be honest I think I spent most of the week sitting in one spot on the couch. I had a pretty bad cold and it rained almost the whole time Tony was gone. I watched The Big Bang Theory and How I met Your Mother on Netflix. I also discovered the show The Originals. It is pretty good. Then I found out it was a spin-off  from a show called The Vampire Diaries. I had never seen that one either. Luckily, Netflix also had the first 5 season of that show and I’m already about a third of the way through season 4.

I also reread my favorite book, Silver Metal Lover by Tanith Lee. This book always made me cry in the past. I’ve read it so many times and I always have cried at the end but this time I didn’t. It felt odd not to cry and I don’t know why this time was different. Maybe I had spent so much time the last few months crying I was just cried out.

Oddly enough I have felt a little emotional this week. So much more is about to change for us. One of Tony’s daughters is about to move in with us. I’m a bit worried about how having a 17-year-old, whom I have never met before, living with us will change our relationship. Tony and I have talked about this and we are resolved that we are a team and will present a united front with her. I do want her here and I think it will be a great experience but it will be different and could put a strain on our relationship if we let it. After all she is his blood and I will be the “step” mother (though I prefer evil step mother, might as well have some fun with this).

I have more classes to take and books to write. Plus tomorrow is my birthday. I will be 48-years-old. Last year I was too sick to care about my birthday and this year I just kind of don’t care either. Which is unusual for me. I love birthdays. I was thinking about this yesterday and I think I’m just tired of having expectations for my birthday. I always hope someone will do something special, bake me a chocolate cake like I love, bring me flowers, remember something special I said once that I had always wanted and have them surprise me with it but those things never happen and I feel disappointed.

I read somewhere once that disappointment comes from expectations. When you have expectations that aren’t met you feel let down but if you have no expectations and you get anything good it’s a welcomed surprise. So for tomorrow I plan to have no expectations, no hopes, no desires and if anything good happens great and if nothing happens, besides me getting older, well … that’s okay too.

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