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meeting

It was already years ago that the children had left. They were living on the other side of the ocean and thousands of kilometers and a lot of money separated them from each other. They were good with each other, but they did not have too much to live from and during many years they just could not think about meeting each other. Unfortunately they were not able to assist the children financially, their son and daughter in law, to build their lives there. In sporadic phone calls they told that life was not easy, but they were happy in their new homeland. And when the children were happy, they were also content.
Gradually, the grandchildren were born, a son, a daughter and another son. The pictures were put on the mantelpiece, alongside the desire to see the children.

Yet, they had planned to save money. Secretly, without saying so, because it went very slowly. The pension did not leave too much, but then they would eat a bit less, or allow themselves a bit less "luxury". Moreover, their health was not what it could have been, but with every penny they put in the money-box, they looked at each other and both knew what they were thinking. Their great wish, their dream, the meeting. Once to see the children, the grandchildren, a hug, a pat on the cheek. They could not imagine it, it has been such a long time they were together. They were so many years younger then, their son was still a youngster. And now a middle aged man.
And then the day arrived they had enough money to go to the travel agency. They had a nice amount, which covered the flight and even left a bit for presents and staying expenses. They booked for six weeks. Six beautiful, long weeks with their son and daughter in law, once to see their home and to see the foreign and distant country where they lived.
Jubilant they wrote and immediately they received an enthusiastic phone call back: what a surprise and what a pleasure. Your beds are made already.
With difficulty they awaited the date of departure. The waiting was heavy. Hand in hand, silent from happiness, thinking only about the trip. Another few weeks, days, hours. And then it was there. It was like a dream, it was a dream, the suitcases, the trip, all those people, the landing, the heat, the crowd, the foreign language, passports, suitcases, the cart for the luggage.
There they walked, with difficulty. With his uncontrolled, jerky movements, he was not able anymore to push the cart. She pushed the cart, slowly, it was heavy and neither was she very fit. He just was not able anymore to wait, walked with his thin legs, with pinocchio steps, his arms swinging, not able to control, wanted to run, to scream and shout the name of his son. His face
slantingly upward, neither was he able to control his head. Expectantly, eagerly, he went through the door. Swaying, stiff, and wooden he went to the crowd, searching with his eyes, looking among all those people. Where were the children, would he recognize them after all those years, but they had pictures, so he would have to recognize them, where were they. He walked slowly, unsure, vulnerable, so full of expectation, so not able to believe. And suddenly, was it real? Was it him? It was him. A waving arm, a big beard, like on the picture, a smiling face. That was him. With the one arm that he was able to lift, he waved back, or something that looked like it. He was happy, that was happiness. Three steps towards his son, but his wife, his wife did not see them yet. He looked backwards, pointed to his wife, he is there, there is he. Pride and happiness streamed through his body. This was for what he had lived, this was all worth it, all those years of hardship, all those years of anticipation, waiting, hoping. Here they were. A warm hug embraced his shoulders and a bearded mouth kissed his stiff happy face.

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