The way home was very long. That was partly also my own fault. When I booked the flights home (half a year ago), I thought it was a brilliant idea to add 3 more days of Athens to my trip. The cheapest flights I found were: Bali to Singapore (where I had to wait for 10 hours until my next flight), Singapore to Athens and from Athens to Eindhoven. That last flight was going either the next day or in 3 days from my arrival. Like I said, it was a brilliant idea back then. I was still convinced that I would have lots of time with my dad and the rest of my family once I arrived, so I wasn't too worried about it.
My host (Orestis) didn't live very close to the city, but I wasn't bothered at all. He picked me up from the airport and when we arrived at his place I was even more than happy to stay there. It was right next to the beach near a touristic spot called Sounion. There were almost no tourists though because the season didn't really start yet, which made this a perfectly relaxed stay. First thing we
did was going for a swim. Compare to the ocean in Asia, the mediterranean sea is very cold. But so is the Atlantic ocean, so it somehow made me feel like home again.
After our fresh dive, Orestis took me for a ride on his bike. We went to the Poseidon temple, then drove through the pine forest and the hills and lastly we stopped for ice cream in the town. Back home we chatted, had some wine and just chilled on the terras.
The next morning I woke up really early and decided to walk down to the sea and watch the sunrise. It was so nice and quiet. Later I received a message from my sister (Laura), telling me it's good I'm coming home, because papa started so say and do strange things. This was the first time I started to be scared it actually wouldn't take so long anymore. I know there were so many signs before, but I always kept believing my dad would be strong enough to survive. Superheroes never die in movies either! I know I live in my own dreamworld sometimes and I don't like to come down, but this message woke
me up to reality like getting ice cold water in my face.
Once Orestis was awake and we sat on the terras having some breakfast, I told him about the message. He told me he lost his mother to cancer not so long ago and that even though it's a real loss, it is part of life. I know that. I've been saying that all the time. But now I was scared to arrive too late. I felt selfish for traveling these months and for wanting to finish my trip to Bali. I just wanted to be home and tell him sorry I haven't been there for him.
My flight wasn't until the next morning, so Orestis told me we should go to the beach and try to enjoy the last day. We stayed for a while and then he said he was gonna make us some pizza, but that I should just stay on the beach and come back to the house in about half an hour.
After a nice lunch we went for a walk along the coast. The weather was perfect and the sea was beautiful and clear. In the evening we went to town to
get some chicken souvlaki. There's no way I could leave Greece without eating some Greek food! We took the food to the harbour, where we ate it on a bench while watching the sailing boats. It made me long to the short time I worked on a yacht. One of the best times of my life!
The next morning we had to get up early to get to the airport on time. Orestis brought me there on his bike. I was glad to spend my last few days with him. He was so relaxed and kind and the place he lives is very nice and quiet.
When I arrived in Eindhoven, Laura was there with Pien to pick me up. Back home, I was so happy to see papa! That day it was just him, mama, Laura, Pien, Evi and I. "Papa en zijn meiden" (dad and his girls). We had a really nice day in the garden. Laura and the girls stayed and the next day we had our traditional sunday breakfast with warm bread, croissants, eggs and orange juice. Stefan (brother-in-law) and Teun (his son) joined us later that day and we had a nice evening
all together. The next day my brother (Jop), his girlfriend (Roxanne) and some other friends and family members came by to say goodbye to my dad.
I still can't believe it all went so quick.. Too quick! But looking back at it, it was so beautiful. Today, 27.05.2020, it's been a year and we still miss him. Luckily he loved listening to music, so lots of great songs remind me of him (Bohemian Rhapsody, Child in Time, The Sound of Silence among many others). I am glad I can look back on a really nice youth and I'm grateful for growing up with great and loving parents. ♥ ♥ ♥
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