As I was writing this, my memories with my family have been playing in my mind. I always remember them with joy, but also with a hint of melancholy.
There is an unspoken contract of difficulties, sadness, and happiness when moving to a new country. This is my story before moving to my second home, Germany.
Visa was my number one issue before moving to Germany. Like what I’ve mentioned on my blog before, I had my first attempt to enter Germany in 2017 when Chris and I were still a new couple. Unfortunately, the German Embassy in Manila did not grant me a Schengen-Tourist Visa.
It didn’t end there. As a Filipino immigrating to a first world country like Germany, the struggle is real. On my second attempt, Chris and I are already married. There were more requirements that I needed to pass because this time, I had to apply for a Spouse Visa.
One of which is the A1 Certificate, which I could get after learning the German language. Without it, they will not grant me the visa notwithstanding the fact that I was already married to a German national. Taking this course was not easy at all.
When I first received the email from the German Embassy Manila stating that my Spouse VISA was ready for pickup two months after I applied for it, I was totally blown away.
Chris and I didn’t expect that in just a short period of time, my visa would be granted. Needless to say, we were thankful, however, it also made me a little bit worried as to how I would break the news to my family. I wondered how I would lessen their shock when they learned that I would be leaving the country permanently soon.
As one might expect of someone who is close with her family, I found myself dealing with a great sense of sadness knowing that my mom would be feeling blue once she heard this news.
Breaking the news to mom
It was my mother who first learned about my upcoming departure. One day, I approached her while she was sewing one of my dresses and said, “Mom, I’ll be leaving for Germany.
“When?” she asked.
“In November,” I replied, “It’s okay, it’s still far ahead.”
She responded but I noticed that she was trying her best to hide her sadness. I can only imagine the pain she must have felt knowing that one of her daughters would be leaving the house to live far away from her. I used to live in Metro Manila, about 5 hours away from our province of Pangasinan. This time, however, it would be different. I would be thousands of miles away from home. No one in our family has ever lived abroad, not until me.
I originally planned to announce it during our family’s out-of-town trip. Unfortunately, the weather was bad so two of my siblings were not able to make it. So I ended up telling my youngest sister and my brother next then we broke the news to the rest of our family in our group chat.
The sadness I received from my family was almost palpable, especially from my mom.
Scene At the airport
consider airports as one of the happiest and saddest places. I felt the happiest whenever I go there to travel to a destination, or when I have to pick up or meet my husband. Going there makes me lonely, usually when I have to send him off back to Germany. On the day of my departure, I had felt both emotions at once.
Thankfully, the queue for check-in at Singapore Airlines was not that long. After I’d checked in my luggage, I went out to the send-off area to see my family one last time. I hugged each and every one of them.
Mom enveloped me in her arms and I felt her hugging me tightly, never wanting me to let go. I embraced her with the same intensity, knowing that it would be a long time before we see each other again.
As I blew them kisses and waved goodbye, my mom started to cry. With tears in her eyes, she asked, “Can I watch your plane as you leave?”
“Sorry mom, it is not possible at this terminal. Please go home safely and please don’t forget about me. I promise I’ll be back to visit you,” I replied.
I walked toward the immigration with a heavy heart, carrying all of my documents.
The immigration officer didn’t ask nor demand a single thing. It was the first time ever that I was traveling out of the country without being interrogated by an immigration officer at the Philippines airport.
The loneliness in me
In those last few days in the Philippines, up until the time they sent me to the airport, I did my best to mask my sadness. I wanted my mom to believe that I was really okay and blissful of my impending departure. I didn’t show her what I really felt, for her sake.
I know that mothers feel the pain of their children. When their kids are sad, when they cry, when they move away, it breaks a mother’s heart. Keeping this in mind, I didn’t show her any tears and smiled at her, right up to the moment we said goodbye.
But as the plane took off, tears began to fall from my eyes. I sobbed on my seat quietly, trying so hard not to be noticed by anyone. Luckily, the middle seat was unoccupied and the beautiful lady passenger sitting on the aisle seat didn’t seem to care.
I was in tears during the entire flight yet I was also looking forward to being with my husband.
Above everything else, my friends, family, my mom, and most especially my husband Chris were extremely happy that I got to start this new journey at my second home, Germany. Chris and I are no longer in a long-distance relationship; all the struggle, difficulties, and wait are finally over and it’s worth it. Happiness is insurmountable.
Although I miss the warmth of home in the Philippines, I couldn’t be happier that my husband and I are finally together under one roof and I treasure that the most.
My next writing for the blog is “The difficulties, sadness, and happiness after moving to Germany”. Please stay tuned!