Friday, October 16, 2015

Goodbye, Kieselgasse


Yesterday, Theo and I landed in Zurich. I didn't waste any time in finally going to say goodbye to our old apartment in Kieselgasse. When Coco and I left Kieselgasse, on June 23, 2014, the very last day of my pregnancy my doctor would allow me to fly, I went out the door and down to the tram just like I had for every other trip we'd taken to the US from that apartment. I didn't pause, I didn't say goodbye. And because J was still working and didn't go with us, it didn't feel any different. Of course, it was different, very different! We never went back. Yesterday, I finally did.




I had wondered, when planning this trip, if I would get emotional at the airport when we landed in Zurich. I did not. We got through customs and baggage claim and made our way to the train and arrived at our friends' house where we are staying and I wasn't emotional through any of it. In fact, I was struck by how normal Zurich felt. Everything feels exactly the same. It feels completely natural and normal. It feels good.

If it hadn't been for the suitcase and bags, I would have gone straight to Kieselgasse. But it was good that we got settled first. We had a little bite to eat, I drank an entire French press on my own and then Theo and I took a nap. When we woke up, we got ready, went out and got on the tram. It was time to go say goodbye.


A few tram stops before ours, I had to blink back tears. Once I alighted and started walking down our little lane, I began to cry, and when I rounded the corner of our house and saw the sticker of the strawberry on the dumpster, I started sobbing. I walked up to the corner of the house and leaned my head against it and cried and cried and cried. I was glad no one was around to see me and that I didn't run into our rather difficult and nit-picky former neighbor.


Being here is like waking up from a nightmare. I had to keep reminding myself that it's not all over and I am not back home. As I made my way down our little lane, I half expected to see our stuff on our window sills, and J's head sitting on the couch reading. Of course, I did not. I saw some weird big lamp and it was helpful. It gave me a jolting sense of closure. This is not our home anymore.


I walked around the block crying, memories flooding back at every step, path and gate from my time there with Coco. She and I spent countless hours wandering that neighborhood after she learned to walk. She jumped in puddles over here and practiced climbing steps over there. She learned to ride her balance bike there. I cried and wiped tears and cried some more. Then I went back to the house and actually hugged it. I put my arms out and grabbed it and hugged it and sobbed quietly. I felt relieved. A weight lifted.


It doesn't make me miss it any less, but I finally got to say goodbye to that apartment, to that time, to that life, to all that it was to us, and always will be. It will always be the home to which we took Coco from the hospital and it will always be the place where we became parents. It is the first place we put down roots. I'm so grateful for that time and place. I love it forever.

Theo and I are in Zurich for two weeks while I attend the Zurich Writers Workshop, network and figure out if we want to call this city home again. Follow along on Instagram. xo

16 comments:

  1. I love your blog, and this post so much! I found myself in tears as I could imagine myself in your shoes doing the same. We were in Zurich around the same time as you (2009 - 2014), and miss it so dearly! We are now living just on the outskirts of NYC. We really can't wait to visit CH next Spring/Summer. Looking forward to seeing where your journey takes you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Stephanie! Just now seeing all these comments for some reason. :) How are you settling in to life in NY now? I hope you're feeling good about your move. It's a long process, that's for sure. xo

      Delete
  2. I know the depth of this feelings about where you started to grow a family. I gave home birth to my second and third daughter in a cosy flat in Zurich and this flat is meanwhile not "ours" anymore but it will always be our home! And I will always miss this place and I would buy this flat if it would be possible…
    Have fun with the workshop, it sounds great!
    Best,
    Iren

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The place where we make a home with our babies really is magical! I think a little piece of our heart or spirit stays there and holds on forever. It's nice to know you can relate! xo

      Delete
  3. Lindsey, I just happened upon your blog through DesignMom and just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy your honesty and sensitivity. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us! Have a good time in Zurich. Looking forward to reading more from you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh, thank you, Meike! This is certainly a really raw and difficult time in my life. It is so amazing to share this process through this blog and see how it resonates and even helps others. It's nice not to feel alone. Thank you so much for reading! It means the world to me. xoxo

      Delete
  4. newcomer here via DesignMom...another American repatriating to this now foreign-to-me land after 6 years of living in a very unique Caribbean island which I miss dearly..the way you express your feelings of your time abroad are EXACTLY what I'm going through daily and it is nice to know I'm not in this alone...thank you for sharing your thoughts!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Repatriation is SO underrated. It's a major, major deal. You are not alone. Thank you so much for reading. xoxo

      Delete
  5. I have had a similar, but different, experience. My husband and I wanted to move to Europe for years. We found out we'd been posted to Germany just a couple days after I found out I was pregnant with my second child. We loved so much about our little house in Gangelt, DE but we longed to be home nearer to friends and family. I had two babies under two and felt isolated and alone even in a country of millions of people. We were supposed to stay for four years, but had an opportunity to leave at just under two years time and we took it. We love where we live and our new life here in Canada, but now, a few years later, we're really missing our simple, but exotic German life. Honestly, if we could figure out how to move back without taking too much of a hit on our finances, we'd totally do it.
    Anyway, I hope you find your way and have that a-ha moment we all need sometimes. Take care.
    M

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pull to be near family is real. It's primal. It's almost impossible to override. You made the right choice. There is no way to answer those big "what if's" without doing them. Financial hits are no fun, but if you decide it's what you must do, you'll recover! Keep me posted! xoxo

      Delete
  6. How lucky you are to be so connected to a place! And that it will always be there for you to enjoy and for your kids to learn to know, even though it will take a plane ride to get there (a small detail!) <3

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Small detail, BIG price tag! HAHAHAHA! But yes, it's not going anywhere. Always good to remind myself of that. :)

      Delete
  7. Lindsey, follow your instinct and live without regret. I have just read your story on Design Mom and followed the link to your blog. Zurich clearly tugs at you. There is a reason for that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe I'll just print this out and tape it to my bathroom mirror. THANK YOU, JM. <3 Your comment truly touched my heart. xoxoxo

      Delete
  8. My friend and I cycled past your house last weekend on our way to an American Grocery shop that was having it's grand opening. Such a gorgeous and lively area. I picked a little mews style ivy covered house out for myself. Then we had a gorgeous decadent brunch at Bohemia.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's pretty darn perfect, that's for sure! <3 Glad you enjoyed Seefeld for me. xx

      Delete

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Blogger template designed By The Sunday Studio.