Monday, July 14, 2014

Hands Down, Hannover

The night we got to Hannover Thomas first drove us to where he and Achim used to live, the same place Marc had visited so many years ago.

Marc's heart was leaping with joy, I could tell. He was so excited to be in a place where there were so many great memories of great friends. Marc and Thomas began to reminisce as Thomas took us on a short tour through Hannover before going to his apartment.

Thomas gave up his room to Marc and I. It was awesome. It was it's own little suite upstairs with great views.

I have no photos of Thomas' apartment... not sure why... well, I lied, I do have one...

I have no idea why this one is the only one can find...

This is from Marc's phone... you can guess where he is sitting for this shot...

Great shower!


That night we were able to talk with the kids, Marc's parents, my parents and my brother Daniel in Illinois! It was so exciting to talk to the kids and see that they are doing well, but it was really surprising to talk to my parents in Illinois! My mom never travels. So her being in Illinois was a bit of a shock. My brother was being put in as a counselor in the Bishopric so my parents wanted to be there for that special occasion.

Our kids were so happy while we  were gone that it made it easier for me to have fun on my time away.

Sister was taking pictures...

I think Lindsey and Ken were having fun too!

So it was good to go to sleep that night knowing all was well.

In the morning we woke up and were on our way to Thomas' work. He had to get some things done and we wanted to see where he works so we decided to go with him and then walk around while he was working.

Before going to his work, we made a little stop to visit Thomas' father in his elderly care home. I pause to tell you about this because it was a sweet and spiritual experience for me.

Thomas is an only child so the care of his father falls on his shoulders.

His father, Heinz, has Alzheimers. Thomas was a bit hesitant to have us see his dad as it is just a sad situation. He doesn't speak and he can't see well.

I have never done well in rest home-type situations.

It always scared me, until I had a special experience with me Grandpa Fred, and now I see them as a more sacred place... hard to explain, but, I hope in telling my experience with Heinz that it will make more sense.

As we entered the room where Thomas' father and a roommate were staying there was a certain pang of fear I felt at the very beginning... I look back now and just realize it was sadness for what our friend, Thomas was facing in his life with his father being so ill.

Heinz's roommate gave me a chuckle when he realized when I spoke that there was a female in the room, he tried to sit up and say hello... what a flirt... tee hee!

Then I looked over to see Thomas talking with his father who was calling out in what sounds like a cry of pain, but maybe he's just singing with the angels who keep him company.

I say this because as I watched Thomas being so tender with his father you could feel the love they have for each other and you could feel the strong spirit of heaven in the room. It was then that I was reminded that we, here on earth, are truly not alone in our suffering. Angels guard and protect us and give us peace in our toughest times here on earth.

I felt and instant connection to Heinz and wanted to say hello to him and let him know Marc and I cared and hoped that he could feel us there and know that his son has friends who care for him.

Heinz, looked blankly unless his son was stroking his head or talking to him.

I got up the nerve to talk to him and when I did, Heinz looked at me! I was so surprised as he hadn't seem to really show much sign of realizing that Marc and I were there.

When he looked at me I wanted to talk to him and bear my testimony to him of what I know about life after this. I wanted to give him comfort... but, somehow, when our spirits connected in that moment, I knew that he already knew this and was just being comforted until his time came. I still wanted to reach out to him but I don't speak German, and he doesn't understand English.

Then it came to me, I could sing him a song. Everyone understands music. Music transcends languages, but I didn't know what song to sing. I kept thinking of Primary songs but I didn't want to make Thomas uncomfortable so I tried to think of some other sweet simple song to sing... then I remembered my Grandpa Willy used to sing a German song to me and the other grandkids all the time and for some reason it came to me in that moment.

So I apologized to Heinz for not being able to speak to him in German, but that I could sing a song to him in German, "Mein hüt est hat drei ecken, drei ecken hast mein hüt..." I could only remember a few lines but, it is My hat, it has 3 corners, 3 corners has my hat... and it goes on.

Heinz's face lit up as he looked at me and Thomas was surprised that I knew such an old song.

We were only there for about 10 minutes, but it was one of the most touching 10 minutes of my life. I appreciate that Thomas allowed Marc and I to share a moment with his father because, hands down, this is what made Hannover one of my favorite cities we visited.

After meeting Heinz, we were able to go to Thomas' work and meet a few of his employees, Mario and Basta. They were a hoot and a half.

We met and talked for a moment and then Marc and I left to go on our walk to the Royal Gardens of Hannover. Just the walk there was beautiful. Tree-lined paths and beautiful green everywhere. Not to mention, the view of my hubby wasn't too bad either (wink).

Then we got to the gardens and I went camera crazy! It was amazing in there!

When we got back to the office I was still camera crazy so I wanted to take a couple work shots:

They look serious at work, but don't let that fool you... they are cray-cray! Hee hee! They really are a lot of fun!

I told Thomas to get his "boss" on...
 Start off hard and end with a smile... 

And that, my friends, is all I have time to blog about today.

I actually have to go make dinner... can you believe that? 
Me, a wife and mother, has to go make dinner...

Tee hee!

Tomorrow I shall blog and make dinner at the same time!


Just kidding!

I'm really not in the mood to do that again...

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