After they had done some more tests, and asked 101 questions, everyone was asked to leave the room and let me rest for a little bit. I didn’t want him to go anywhere, I didn’t want him to leave me, I felt safe when he was around. As I looked out of the door, I could see my Uncle (dads cousin) pacing backwards and forwards down the hall, he must have been really worried, which made me worry, maybe he knew what was wrong with me? Maybe it was bad? I just wanted to be back at home with my family.
A couple of hours later the doctor came into my room, she said I was very dehydrated but all in all OK and was able to head home. When he walked back into the room I was so thankful to see him, my eyes filled with tears and I just wanted to be in his arms. I couldn’t stop thinking about how well he was caring for me on the way to the hospital.
Ive never really felt protected by him, or by any one in my life. Ive always been the type of person to stand up on my own two feet and look after myself, (I think I get that from my mum) I never allow myself to get into a situation where I really need protecting, by him, my dad or my brothers. However, I know that if there ever comes a time, they would be the first ones there and the last ones to leave. Dont get me wrong, they have all at one time or another been there to help me when things go wrong or my car wont start or I need something fixed. My dad is Mr Fix It, I don’t think there is anything in this world that he doesn’t know how to fix or make. He is honestly a lifesaver for everyone and anyone who knows him.
Being the oldest of three kids, Ive always had that “big sister” mentality where I am always the one who does the protecting and looking after, I have now discovered that my baby brothers have grown up, and don’t always need their big dorky sister around and I am now the one who needs help and looking after. Those two will always be number one in my life, no matter what happens! They are and will always be my little brothers (even though they tower over me now a days) We haven’t always got along (what brother and sister does?) but we have a very similar sense of humour so when we do get along, we are always having a good old belly laugh at something, we have the absolute best time.
Once we got home, I was told to rest and take it easy for a while and the next couple of days were spent relaxing around the house. One night after dinner we decided to just stay in and watch a movie (I know, a movie in the middle of a country town, on the other side of the world) I was dreading having to read the subtitles all night. I turned on the TV to a random station and what movie comes on?! Muriel’s Wedding!! One of the most Aussie movies ever made!
Later that night as we were getting ready for bed, he told me how scared he was when I went into hospital, he said he felt so helpless that he couldn’t do anything or take the pain away. He told me when I was lying in the hospital bed, he was holding onto my leg and doing a small Sign Of The Cross with his finger on my ankle over and over again. My heart melted and at that point, I really knew how much I meant to him. He was my forever.
After a few days of rest, we went back and stayed with family on the coast, this was my happy place. We did a little more site seeing of the islands across the water. So magical. One day my uncle took me up to another holiday house they have and showed me around. He told me that when my dad was there visiting for the first time, him and my grandparents helped renovate the house, he showed me where they wrote their names in the wet cement. It was like an out of body experience. I was standing in exactly the same spot my dad was nearly 40 years ago with my grandparents!!
I was really sad to leave these two beautiful places, our retreat by the coast and our retreat in the country. They really meant something to me, I feel a really strong connection to them, something that I struggle to explain on paper. We headed to Zagreb and stayed with my cousin, we stayed in the exact same room, that my parents stayed in when they were visiting and staying with my cousins parents! Zagreb is another one of my favourite cities. It has the history of the old town and throughout you can see so much of where they have rebuilt since the War. In Gospic, my uncle showed me throughout the house the bullet holes that were still so visible, the stories we heard are unimaginable.
We stayed in Zagreb for a week and were free to do our own thing, my cousin also took great care of us, the both of them got along so well and had a lot in common. I loved seeing how happy he was.
We decided it was time to move on and see the other side of my family (my grandmothers side) in Slovenia. Both sides of the families knew each other and still kept in touch quite often even after all these years. Both countries being quite small, my cousin drove us to the boarder to meet the other side of the family. Croatia will always have this special place in my heart, and I am so, so, SO glad that I got to spend a European Summer at the best place in the world!