I cry on most of the flight home and I don’t know why. Not weeping, just eyes watering, falling on the pages of the book I’m trying to read, or caught subtly in my sleeve.
I can’t say for certain why it’s so hard for me.
This isn’t a new trip for me. But this time it feels different. There are realizations that come to me now. Facts and realities that I didn’t know existed, and that I don’t know how to confront.
I’ve felt frustrated for a long time. But now in seeing her, it goes beyond my own frustration, and verges into pain… and with pain naturally comes empathy. She’s older now, and in her I see so many things that reminded me of myself when I was young. Or am I projecting?
Yes, it could all be a mental creation, a manifestation of fear. But what if I’m right? I want more than anything to help that little girl, but we can’t even communicate. I quietly meltdown as I listen to her have conversations with strangers that have more depth than anything she can say to me. Her English will one day improve, and my German slowly accumulates, but it’s not enough when she needs me now.
Also published on Medium.