Monday 2 November arrived and brought with it the last two days of my trip. I spent the day packing and writing before I drove to Amsterdam to check into my final hotel of the trip. That evening I was supposed to meet with DPAA, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency. This was another meeting scheduled at the last minute prior to my trip. Someone who knew I was speaking at Groesbeek altered one of the DPAA WWII historians about me. After some emails and a phone conversation, I was going to meet Christine C. and her team in Amsterdam the day they flew over to the Netherlands to do whatever they planned to do.
I met the group for dinner and we had really great conversations about their work and mine. One important component was the topic of education. I feel strongly that people do not have enough information about the Graves Registration Service and their job during and after WWII. Nor do they have enough information about WHY bodies could not always be recovered or why it has taken 70+ years, in some cases to recover them. This will be the topic of a future article and will feature in Volume 4 of my book series in 2016. The meeting was great and who knows. There may be an opportunity to work together in the future.
Tuesday, 3 November brought my final full day in the Netherlands. I felt as if I had done everything I was consciously and somehow, subconsciously, I was supposed to on the trip. I was at peace and ready to go home the next day.
I spent the day with a friend at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam and enjoyed the art, artifacts, and conversation. The museum was full of energy, a lot of it centered in rooms which held medieval period art and artifacts. Especially the weapons room where I wondered, how many ways can you kill a man?
That room brought up a lot of feelings and issues from the past and a lot of negative and heavy energy. Some of it was attached to my friend because I knew he and I went back lifetimes. I did a lot of clearing in that room around these issues coming up and the items in the room. A few tears fell in the process but in the end, it is what was necessary.
At the end of a great day I prepared to fly home the next morning, grateful for all the experiences I had, people I met, and ready for the next stage in life. Once I navigated my way through the airport and had breakfast and was waiting at the gate, I admit to a little happy dance that I had traveled alone. This was not something I thought I could do a year ago, but when the time is right, magic happens. I was certain that a three year period of working too much and solidifying the foundation of my ever changing business, was over and a new one was beginning. A period in life where it would not be all about work but some balance would arrive.
So what else happened on this trip? What led me to travel alone besides what I already talked about in these articles? And what happened on the first trip to Europe that changed everything? I guess you’ll have to wait for the book to come out!
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