Arriving back at home felt so surreal. His brother picked us up form the airport and took us back home. As my family wasn’t going to be home for about few hours, I stayed and slept at his house for the afternoon. His parents were so happy to see us home safe and sound.
Before I knew it, my brother (who was keeping the secret) came to pick me up and take me home. He told me that he had to tell mum and our other brother that I was coming home as they had made plans that night and wouldn’t be there otherwise, so really I was only surprising my dad! He got the biggest shock when I walked in the door and jumped up straight away to hug me. It was so nice to see everyone for the first time in seven months and my beautiful dog whom I missed so much! I couldn’t wait to explore the house to see any new additions that my mum had bought and my dad had to assemble (happy wife, happy life)
Later that night, I told a lot of unheard stories over a nice family dinner, including the time I went to hospital in Croatia. I didn’t want to tell them whilst I was overseas as I didn’t want them to worry about me. I went through all of my luggage and started handing out presents, I was so excited to see them open everything, after all, they were from the other side of the world and some of them I had been carrying around for months!
Later that night, I met up with my bestie and talked for hours over a couple of coffees (or in my case hot chocolates as I don’t drink coffee, never have and I don’t think I ever will, yuk!) I told her as many stories as I could think of as at this time the trip started to feel like it was all a blur. Each day started to roll into the next and it became so hard to remember what happened when and where.
The next day, I went to see my grandmother (we call her Baka (pronounced Barka) in Croatian.) She had no idea that I was even back in Sydney because like everyone else, I had her believing that I was still in Europe. When she answered the door and I said “Hi Baka” the excitement in her voice melted my heart. “You home, you home!!!” in her cute little accent. We have always had this thing that when my brothers and I were little and we would go and visit her, she would open the door and stand to the side and as we walked in, she would give us each the biggest hug. Well, the hug she gave me took me right back to my childhood.
We sat and talked for hours about my whole adventure and all the family that I got to meet and how kind and generous they were to us. I went through and showed her the photos I had with her brother and sisters and the rest of her family. I could see on her face how happy this made her and this put a huge smile on my face.
I also surprised my other Grandparents (mums parents) who also didn’t know that I had returned home. I had organised with my uncle to make sure they were home. I knocked at the door and my Grandad answered and welcomed me inside. I thought it was quite strange that he didn’t give me a hug or mention anything about my trip. I gave my uncle a big hug and sat down, he turned to my Grandad and said “Do you know who this is?” My Grandad had to look at me properly, I said “It’s me!” Well, didn’t the tears start streaming from his eyes. He couldn’t believe I was back and couldn’t believe he didn’t recognise me. I jumped up and gave him a big ol’ hug. My Nanna was on the phone in the other room and when she walked out, she too hadn’t the faintest idea who I was. She looked at me closely and stared once she figured it out, had a few tears in her eyes too! Not long after that we were all sitting around laughing about it. I believe that I get my laugh from my mum, who got hers from her mum!
I am the first born grandchild, so I think I will always hold a soft spot in my grandparents’ hearts, especially my Grandad, he calls me his ‘Pretty, Pretty’. I think being the eldest, I share a special bond with my uncle and aunties as well, and, as I get older I am starting to appreciate the childhood I had as a kid so much more. I could not have asked for anything more than what I got.
After a couple of days of seeing the rest of my family and some friends, I started to miss him, a lot, and started to get that homesick feeling for him, however, I knew that I needed to give him his space, after all we had just spent seven months living in each others pockets.
What happens now?…