Saturday, April 23, 2011

Great Swedish Adventure ~ Part 16




Flowers sent to me yesterday from my daughter and her family

With the end of this "Great Swedish Adventure" has come an awful lot of emotion. Because this experience has been documented and will be a part of my history, I feel there has to be one more follow up post. A post, shall we say, on the aftermath of this experience.

I knew I needed a couple of days to unwind from this experience, and I was not wrong. I have felt numb and have just barely functioned, doing only what I absolutely had to do. It has been a tougher come down than I expected.

I started this adventure because the timing couldn't have been any better for me. I was trying to plan a trip to Sweden this year as it was. I want to meet my cousin who found me last last year through this blog. In fact, I want to meet all of the family there!

When I started this adventure I NEVER expected to get very far, and I knew I would never forgive myself if I didn't at least try. It was a wild, crazy, awesome experience. It was so much more than I ever could have imagined. As I kept advancing through each cut, my mind started focusing mostly on this experience. When I got to the final cut, after all I had been through, I wanted this more than anything.

So without really realizing it, over a period of a couple of months, my feelings changed from just having fun with this to "I just have to make it!" Unconsciously, I started planning how everything would play out. I thought about what would be "let go" at my house and in my "normal" life while I was away for a month. I rehearsed in my mind, many times, the ultimate experience of meeting my family in Sweden. At this point, I don't think I it crossed my mind very often that I wouldn't make it.

My family in Sweden was rooting for me. They have been very involved, especially as I kept making the cuts. They anticipated with excitement that I would be coming to their country to meet them. Even a blogging friend from Sweden was anticipating and hoping I would make it. She hoped to come meet me and be of assistance if she could. Of course all of this excitement from everywhere kept me very pumped up.

The final week came which would verify, or not, if I was to continue on to Sweden. As each day passed, I was getting more tense, waiting, full of anticipation. The last couple of days I stayed by the phone and my laptop, as if I were going to miss something. My daughter wisely pointed out to me, if they called to tell me I made it, they wouldn't change their mind because I wasn't there to answer the phone. I left the house for maybe an hour.

I was back home when suddenly then the phone rang. My heart skipped a beat and I held my breath. I did not recognize the number that was portrayed on the TV screen. I said hello and heard some strange talking. Confused, I said hello again. Interesting, I didn't recognize who it was, nor the language, although I still tend  to think Spanish at first. But I knew it wasn't Spanish, so I said, this is Cheryl, and waited for a response.

All of a sudden I realized it was my cousin from Sweden, Janne! My eyes welled with tears. He had been saying for quite awhile he wanted to call but was afraid his English wasn't good enough. Now, this moment on the phone, it was him! It was amazing to talk to him and actually hear his voice! I know for him it was important that he hear mine. Janne did well speaking English, once I realized who it was. I was so stunned I really couldn't and didn't say much. I was thinking, I hope it didn't cost him to much to call, I have to keep this short. We communicated fairly well, my cousin speaks better English than I anticipated. It was so wonderful that he called.

I felt this was a good luck sign that I was going to make it all the way on the show. I was so pumped having spoken to Janne! The next night though, my bubble burst...it was over. It was very much a shock and hard to believe actually. I felt fortunate that I had met several other applicants online who were cut also. I believe it helped knowing that each of us weren't the only ones cut, and we could fully understand how the others felt. Even so, now I had to change my way of thinking. I no longer needed to worry about what would happen at home for a month, who would help with my grandchildren, or what kind of clothes I needed to purchase to take to Sweden. I needed to retrain my thought process and it didn't come easily.

Even caring for my grandchildren yesterday didn't bring me out of my slump. My husband and daughter did all they could to make things easier for me. My husband took the grandchildren out for a couple of hours to give me some time to myself and my daughter sent those beautiful flowers above to me from her family. I appreciate my family as well as all of the people who have commented on my blog and Facebook with regrets. But my daughter said it perfectly on the card that came with the flowers.

It read, "Mom, let's celebrate how far you got. We are so proud of you. Love" from her and each one in her family. It still brings tears to my eyes. She is one smart cookie and I am very proud of the mother, wife, daughter and person she has become.

I have received some very nice emails from some of you out there as well and a couple of emails from my cousin, Janne.  I realized with this mornings email from Janne that he is feeling very sad and disappointed that this has all ended. This made me sad again as well and again brought tears to my eyes. I responded to him that the Great Swedish Adventure may be over, but that will not stop me from coming to Sweden to meet him, I WILL come. I am just not sure when.

A couple hours after this I received an email from, Janne's aunt. She is married to another cousin of mine. We have only had a couple of emails between us prior to this. She was sorry that I did not make it to the show and said ~

"you got an experience in life to remember anyway. I hope you can come to Sweden anyway so you may see your roots and meet your relatives. You and your family should have a good many hugs from us."

All the more reason I want to go to Sweden. This is MY family. My caring, sweet, thoughtful, wonderful family. My heritage, my family, is there, in Sweden.

As I come back to reality I am realizing I am almost ready to get to the matter at hand, plan my real trip to Sweden. I WILL go, and when I do, you can bet I will have a new series to follow, called...


MY GREAT SWEDISH ADVENTURE!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wishing you success in all of your genealogical treasure hunts!




Copyright © 2011 By Cheryl Palmer All Rights Reserved

14 comments:

  1. I'm sorry you did not make the cut; but I agree with your family. Also, you WILL get to Sweden, when the time is right, and it WILL be wonderful. It took me 15 years to get to Slovakia, but it was so worth it. Hugs to you!

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  2. My dear friend from high school in California now lives in Sweden in the same village her mother, grandparents, etc. lived in before her mother moved to the states and married her dad. So she has come full circle and is back to her roots.

    You WILL get there! But go in the summer - it's COLD there :-)

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  3. Cheryl, thanks for the wonderful adventure you have let us share with you. I have no doubt there will be another "Great Swedish Adventure" in the future. When God closes a door, He opens a window.

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  4. Dear Cheryl,

    Thank you so much for sharing this experience with all of us. The series has been fantastic, and enlightening to those of us not suffering from the emotional ups and downs. You are very human, and we all identify with your feelings and reactions.

    Let me suggest to you that you haven't taken "The Great Swedish Adventure" yet. You're going to go sometime (and I hope soon!) and have the time of your life. That will be the adventure that you will cherish the rest of your life. Just think, your children, grandchildren and their descendants will know all about it because you will write about it with descriptions of people, places and events. I recall what Lisa Alzo wrote last year about her Slovak adventure.

    Hugs -- Randy

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  5. For your conclusion, this was tops. I can't say anything that hasn't already been said. But, if and when you go to Sweden, at least you will be able to do as you please, visit for as long as you wish with your cousin. Perhaps with the TV show, you would have been told to do this and that, and only have limited time with your cousin. Have fun planning YOUR trip, it's your adventure, it's not some Reality Show.

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  6. I'm so sorry you didn't make the final cut, Cheryl. But I must say, you've written one of the best blog series I've read in all the years I've been reading genealogy blogs (5+). Thank you for sharingrp your experiences and emotions with us!

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  7. Cheryl, I would like to thank you for sharing this with us! I believe that you will come to Sweden soon... and you will meet your Swedish family! And then it becomes your own Swedish Adventure, and you can take your time to explore your Sweden! Hugs // Yvonne

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  8. Cheryl, I am looking forward to "The Great Swedish Adventure - The Real Deal!" I know it will happen and it will be amazing - you will have the time to take lots of great pictures and meet and get to know your relatives in Sweden. Thank you for sharing the "prologue" to the great adventure!

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  9. I totally agree with Jasia - definitely the best blog series I've read - I can't wait until the real adventure starts!! I will live vicariously through you as I don't yet even have contact with my Swedish relatives - I'm looking forward to the day when that might come to life. One step at a time, eh?!! Cheers from Your Cheerleader in New Zealand-

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  10. Hi sis... just repeating my condolences from my email... and sending a virtual hug from 3000 miles!

    As some others point out here, you now have your OWN adventure to look forward to, which will be A W E S O M E! You can do things your own way, on your own time, without worrying that your 'sponsors' are mostly concerned with making good TV. I think it will be a far richer experience for you.

    Jen is so right: "Celebrate how far you got!" :) You rocked it, sister!

    xo
    L

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  11. I am so very impressed, not only with your experiences (which were amazing), but with the open and honest what you've shared them with us. You've more courage than I - but then I knew that when I found out about the Harley!

    Here's to your Real Thing! The peanut gallery is rooting you on however you decide to procede.

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  12. Karen, I have no other way to contact you! Thank you for your very kind words, and good luck with finding your Swedish ancestors!

    Thank you all so much, I appreciate everyone's support, kind words and comments. Will start working on the follow up series shortly!

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  13. So sorry you didn't make it :( I hope you still enjoyed the experience.

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  14. Cheryl, I hope you are doing much better now and that the disappointment has evaporated somewhat. Thanks for taking us all along with you on your journey. It was fantastic.

    I can't wait until you go to Sweden and take all of us along with you to meet your family. I know you will!

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