Hello everyone! I'm back :)
First, I'd like to thank everyone who commented or sent me emails to share their sympathy with me regarding my aunt's death or just to inquire how I was doing. I was really touched and it once again shows why I love blogland so much, because we care and support each others :) I also want to apologize if I have not replied to you individually to thank you. See, the reason I put my blog on hiatus is because we traveled to Germany for the funerals and I knew I wouldn't have internet access over there or very limited access. We left on December 29 and just came back last Sunday. We decided to stay two weeks for the funerals, but also to help my uncle go through this tough time. My uncle was very dependent on my aunt in his day to day life, not in the sense that he needed assistance in his daily life, but more like my aunt did everyone: laundry, ironing, cooking, etc. She took care of all the domestic chores in the house. Furthermore, my uncle has some weird, specific eating habits, so that complicates things. So we are quite concerned about him for his future and hope he'll be able to adapt and adjust. In addition, well, my aunt was a bit of a hoarder... nothing as bad as what you see in the TLC shows - thank God! - but she kept a lot of stuff and it made the house cramped... So my parents and uncle from Quebec City spent a lot of time sorting things out. Just an example, my cousin found a tofu powder box dating from... 1981 ^_^; Like older than him and me! Also, the first day, I opened the utensils drawer to set the table and for the life of me, could not find more than 3 forks... The next day, after cleaning out the drawer, it turns out it had at least 10!
My aunt's death was very sudden and unexpected. We think she died of a heart attack, but we'll never really know as we declined to do an autopsy. We got the news the night between December 26 and 27 and it was quite a shock. It's my cousin who contacted us and I really thought he got the wrong words as English is not his first language. Afterwards, we had to move pretty fast to make it to Germany. It did not help we had a major snowstorm on the 27 ^_^; In addition, we were 5 traveling and elected to take the plane to Paris and then, the train to Germany. The problem is that we had to split into two flights and therefore, weren't sure we would all make it on the same train... but it worked out okay :) After that, well there was the issue that my aunt passed away during the holidays, so a lot of establishments were closed. Also, in Germany, everything - really everything - is closed on Sundays. So even when we arrived, we didn't have an exact date for the funeral, just a vague plan for January 3rd. Once that was confirmed, we had to contact my aunt's friends to let them know, as my uncle was too in shock and hadn't done it. Calling people on New Year's Eve and New Year to share the news was not exactly ideal, but the only option we had.
However, despite the short notice time, a lot of people came and that was very heart-warming. We think there was more than 200 persons who came to the ceremony. In Germany, the funerals are a bit different than in North America. There are no real exposition period. It's basically a ceremony, so people can come a bit early and say they goodbyes and after the ceremony, my aunt was buried right away. The whole thing lasted perhaps two to three hours... So to have everyone being able to come - and a lot of them drove two or three hours - it was great.
And now, I'm home :) I missed home a lot during the past two weeks. The trip overall was good... I mean, you never want to travel under such circumstances, but most everything went without a hitch, so that's good. And there were some really good moments... furthermore, I think it was great that we spent so much time as a family. Still, on the other hand, there was some periods where time seemed to go by excruciatingly slowly ^_^; But now it's all over and I think it's really hitting me... that my aunt passed away and that we traveled for her funerals. Sigh.
So all to say that the hiatus on this blog is over, yay! :) I think it might take me a few days to get back into a routine. There are so many good books that I read back in November and that I wanted to review and didn't get the chance. I'm not sure if I'll be able to go back to them all though :( Also, I'm not sure I'll be making 2012 recaps... Have to tell you, it hasn't compute in my mind that we're in 2013 yet, just because of the strange way we spent New Year... but you never know. Perhaps I will :)
All in all, it's good to be home :)