I had known my sweet husband just over three months when I met his family for the first time at their home in Germany. In a small, beautiful village next to a mid-size town, by a good size city a couple of hours away from Munich. This was over twenty-one years ago and I have been in love with all of them ever since.
The strength of family shores me up. It always has, it always will. But my support system just got one person smaller, in a big way.
With the passing of my dear father-in-law, there is a gap today. It is the first time I am here, in this small village without him. He embraced me, my country and my family from the get go. I was never an outsider. I was family. A daughter, and I hope a friend.
There were language barriers I'm sure, but I don't remember any. There were cultural differences, but I can't recall anything specific at the moment. There was distance, from a few kilometers to thousands of miles, but it never felt far. Two families. One Greek. One German. It felt like one during those lucky times when I was blessed with both sets of parents in my midst.
Yes there is a gap that I need to mind. Bigger than language, culture or distance. There is a gap in my heart.
Lieber Schwieger, danke fuer alles.