It's been over three weeks since Meran, Eva, and the boys visited for a little over five days, three longer than originally planned due to car problems. [I had a running joke with Meran that I had placed a curse on the car that would not allow them to go yet...] A visit much anticipated and so welcomed.
The time passed all too quickly. Catching up on news, finding out what Meran did for his work in Iraq, meals cooked by Eva - Oh, the food, the food! She is a wonderful cook, and we had a great Kurdish feast the day after they arrived, eating off of it for days after. One afternoon, into the evening, we met with other area Kurds at a local park for a picnic and outing. We went for walks, took many pictures of the grandsons, and enjoyed the time together like the precious gift that it was.
Once, Eva and I went out alone for an afternoon. It gave her the opportunity to vent her sadness about herself, and her relationship with Meran. I learned for fact what I suspected in theory, that Eva has a very low self-esteem. She openly admitted as much to me. I reached across the coffee shop table where we sat sipping our drinks, and took her hand and squeezed it, looking into her eyes and telling her how much I admired her, was proud of her, and loved her; how special she is, talented and with so much of life before her. I advised her to follow her heart, with her mind firmly in tow, remembering one thing only - to be true to herself, to honor herself, no matter what path she takes. I told her she can do anything she puts her mind to. If things don't work out for her and Meran, she can make it despite how painful it might be. Try to make things work because if it's worth anything at all, it's worth that. But in the end, be true to yourself, I said.
Later that same afternoon, we were parking at a store about to get out of the car, when Eva starts talking more about how she has a lot of anger about Meran and the woman involved from Iraqi Kurdistan, how despite the relationship being only an emotional one (no physical intimacy it is claimed), she shares how she tried to explain to Meran that that is the worst of it, not the sex, but the emotional ties that were built between him and the girl. That tore at her heart. Meran's family is aware of the situation, and they are supportive of Eva's point of view and feel strongly that Meran must cut ties with the girl.
In the end, Eva is being philosophical about it, but practical in her heart. She and the boys are planning to follow Meran, who leaves next week to return to Iraq for a new year-long tour as a civilian contractor (interpreter/translator). The current plan is to go later this summer when an uncle of Meran's will be traveling there, who is an American citizen and can enter via Turkey as Eva must do. I told Eva, if you don't have to go, I would not, but if you feel you must, I understand.
I called her the other day to wish her a happy 25th birthday. She admitted to me that her regular daily schedule, made crazy by Meran's return, has made it difficult to communicate with me via email, chat, or phone calls as we have become in the habit of. "I miss talking with you." Well, as you might imagine, that warmed my heart to hear. I remember like it was yesterday when Eva was a wee little girl, and I had her all to myself. Just her and I. We'd cuddle, I'd read to her, I would hold her, I would tuck her in. It was nice to know I'm still needed once and awhile even yet.