It’s been almost 15 years since I arrived in Florida and saw a palm tree for the first time. I was 15 years old. I have spent exactly half of my life in Sweden and the other half here. I have always thought of myself as a Swede not realizing that one day my days in Sweden would be less then here.
It’s been 12 years since I was in Sweden last. Not by choice, life just happened. Once my dad changed from the company who brought us here to a new job at a different company we lost our included trips back home. Weeks turned into months, months turned into years, school, college graduation, career job (with one week vacation unlike Sweden’s 5 week vacation), then came the boy, the marriage and the baby carriage. Meanwhile my adorable family and friends back home continued their lives. They finished school and got jobs, got or lost boy/girl friends, got married and had babies, switched jobs and moved. Thanks to facebook I can at least keep up with the basics.
I meet my husband 13 years ago during his college spring break vacation in Fort Lauderdale. When we got married six years ago some family and my seven best girls came to be apart of it. When I had my kids a few of them came to visit.
For years I’ve said I want to go home to visit. Two days ago my husband said he missed going to weddings (there was a time when we went often). Today I got an invitation to my cousins upcoming summertime wedding. An invitation back home.
First of all, my older cousin is finally getting married which in itself makes me ecstatic. Second of all there is no better time to go home then now. Besides I owe my cousin, he came to my wedding in New York City. I could hug all my family and friends, show my husband and my kids my old world and go to a typical Swedish wedding to top it all off.
I have daydreamed of a trip like this for a long time. It’s strange but it feels like my husband won’t know me entirely until I take him home (he would argue differently). I would want nothing more than for my kids to have a piece of Sweden in them like I have (not just be half Swedish), and this could be the first of many trips to create that.
I told my husband about the invitation and his eyes lit up; I know he wants this too, the trip, for us, for me. We never have busy weekends of family gatherings, and I envy the people around me that do. I have missed so many years of birthdays, Christmases, anniversaries and family barbeques. It would be nice to make up for some lost time. The question is not if we want to go, it is can we go? It’s not the easiest or cheapest trip.
At this point I can only hope. I can keep daydreaming. I can save as much money as I possibly can. I want to go, I need to go. I miss my family and I miss my friends. I want to meet the new people in my loved ones lives, like my cousins’ wife to be and their baby. I need to show my husband what my life was like before he bumped me in the head with a volleyball as a high school kid. I need to let my half Swedish kids create Swedish memories of their own.
I have an invitation home and I hope I can attend.
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