We are very proud of my younger brother, Jeremy, who is graduating from college this morning in Kassel, Germany. He has been studying at the International YMCA University of Applied Sciences, with the lectures, papers and oral exams all in the German language. We had been hoping to come out for the graduation, but the tickets to Germany were so expensive we couldn't justify the trip. Then, about three weeks ago, we found some discount tickets on Sri Lankan airlines and decided to make the trip, but we did not tell my mother or grandma that we were coming. We haven't seen my parents for a year and a half, and my mom has been pretty sad about not seeing Abi or my brother's son, Sem, for all that time.
When my parents and grandmother arrived, we left my brother's home to go shopping and to spread out the joyful moments for my mom. After the hugs and greetings with my brother's family, we snuck back into the house and out onto the porch where my mother was sitting. When she saw us her eyes grew big, her jaw dropped and... she was speechless.
For those of you who know my mom, that's really saying something.
Once she was convinced that she wasn't hallucinating, and the shock and suprise of seeing us wore off there were tears and hugs and a very sweet time with everyone. Since then we have been going to graduation events, enjoying the wonderful food here in Germany, and seeing sites like the castle and forest that inspired the Brothers Grimm to create all of their creepy tales.
Most of all, we are simply enjoying a wonderful time with family in a beautiful corner of the world.