Wednesday, March 12, 2014
I've been back from the U.S. for almost a week now and I'm still trying to catch my breath. Most of what I saw was from the backseat of a car due to all of the traveling we needed to do.
For those that didn't read my last entry..my brother was killed in a head on collision in Oregon on February 13. I flew home two weeks later for the funeral. We scrambled to get everything together in order for me to leave and my husband took time off to keep things together at home while I was gone. It took me around 11 hours to fly into LAX where I met my Dad and step mom. We then went straight to the store in order to get things for the drive to Oregon. I can not begin to tell you the levels of confusion I had upon arriving in the U.S.. It was almost to much to take in after being away for almost 7 years. I went to Wal-mart and stood in the aisles with my mouth wide open from all of the choices. I couldn't even pick out a simple shampoo because of how many different varities there were. I became agitated until I could find the one I used to use before I came here.I noticed that I went straight back to the products I had used before in order to find some sort of comfort in the sea of brightly colored packages that claimed one thing or another.
I arrived Wednesday morning and we left for Oregon the following morning at 7 am. There was a total of 7 of us family members who climbed into a van to make the trip. It took us 17 hours the first day to make it to Washington. I honestly don't know how I made it. I was crazy tired,jet lagged, and stressed beyond belief. I stayed up the whole time and by the time we all went to bed at my Grandfather's house,all I could hear was the ringing in my ears and the constant rocking motion of being in a car. I think I slept a total of 5 hours. The next morning was getting ready and heading to Corvallis,Oregon to meet my Mom,sister in law, and nephews for lunch. I ached from head to tow from the flight and then the long car ride. I was nervous to see everyone and hoped everything went ok.
I spotted my Mom and doubled over with tears. She didn't recognize me at first from all of the weight I had lost. It's one thing to see a picture of someone but sometimes you don't make the connection when you see them up close. We cried and hugged and we all sat down for lunch.
It was weird to see everyone and talk about my brother and everyone looking at me because of how much I had changed. The drive back to Washington was a quiet one. All I could do was look outside and take it all in. I have missed the trees,and the water,and the mountains, and all the wildlife. I have missed the wide open spaces, big roads, and the happy smiles of Americans. In every single store I went into I made sure to chat with everyone that I could. I loved it.
The following day was the funeral and let me tell you how odd it is to have to re-introduce yourself to people because they longer recognize you from the weight loss. I could hear people whispering that they had no idea who I was..and that was coming from an Uncle. A funeral is an odd thing. You see people you only remember being around as a kid or a teenager..and they haven't allowed you to age in that amount of time. I had people talking to me as if I were super young, or a 14 year old who wore all black. I am 39 with two teenaged sons but for some that was to much to take in. So I let them keep me where they wanted in order to bring them some comfort. After the funeral it was back in the car for a quick meal and then on to the road again to California. We made it in a lot less time due to not stopping for every single meal. We arrived Sunday morning and I was to leave again for home on Thursday.
I had zero time to go and see everything that I wanted to and I didn't eat at all of my favorite things..simply because I wasn't hungry,spent the entire time being bloated from what I did eat and just didn't care. I was able to ship two boxes of goodies home for everyone and of course for myself :). It was an odd trip that barely left me anytime with my Dad.
Oh! one of the perks from a massive weight loss is alllllllll the crazy amounts of space I had when it came to the airline seat and seat belt! The last time I flew I was around 300 pounds. Not this time! It felt great to not have to worry about if I was going to fit or not. I had a slight hiccup when entering the U.S. The woman at the customs line wouldn't accept my passport because of the weight loss. She couldn't recognize me in the photo so I started tossing all kinds of picture ID's at her and breaking out into hives as I explained my weight loss to her. Thankfully she let me through.
I'm tired,stressed,depressed, and just trying to move forward. The shock of my brother's death is still with me,dealing with seeing everyone after so long and the reasons behind the actual leaving of the U.S. has all come rushing back. I'll be back up and running next week and I can't wait to show you some of the breads I baked before I left and the ones I plan on getting to over the next few days. It feels good to be baking again and giving myself a break from having to think about things to much.
The U.S. was as beautiful as it ever was and I miss it terribly.
Labels: Life in the Netherlands