The Arrivals: Stories behind the scenes
Arriving home is often met with overwhelming happiness at seeing loved ones once again. For Mette MacManus though, her 16-year-old daughter returning home from a trip abroad was tinged with sadness.
"I’m very close to my daughter but I don’t see her as often as I’d like. She is a very good handball player and for the past year she has been living on her school campus to focus on her talents. This means I don’t see her very often, which is difficult in and of it self.
My daughter had been on a school trip to the Faroe Islands for a week and I was excited to be picking her up at Kastrup Airport in Copenhagen, but the night before she was due to arrive back home I had to call her with some very bad news – her grandfather had passed away.
When she landed and came into the arrivals hall she was happy to be home but then our eyes met and we both started to cry. The feelings of sadness and happiness were so mixed up for both of us. I was so happy to see her and to know that she was safe, but it was sad that we couldn’t all be together when her grandfather had died, supporting one another. It was great to have her coming back home from this fantastic trip, but inside we were all crushed because we’d lost someone we loved very much.
Once we were in the car she said, “You were crying when you saw me – weren’t you happy to see me?” I said, “No, no, of course I was happy. I was crying because I was so happy to see you, but also because my father has died.”
I’m very proud of my daughter. She has worked hard at her sport and is an amazing young woman – but I’m so happy she’ll be back home after this year away at school."
Rollercoaster of emotions
Annika Lund, who lives just 30 miles south of Copenhagen, describes the rollercoaster of emotions she goes through as her daughter begins traveling the world.
"My daughter Anna, 19, recently visited Ecuador for three weeks. It’s the first time she’s been away by herself, other than when she did a language course in London about five years ago. She was on the other side of the world, so of course I was worried, but I was also so thrilled for her to be having this big adventure. Basically, I went through every emotion you can imagine.
When we picked her up at Kastrup I felt almost sick to my stomach with anticipation. I’m very emotional, because I couldn’t wait to see her, to hug her, to hear about her adventures. There’s so much love that when she walks through the doors, it’s a very emotional reunion.
After Ecuador, Anna went to Georgia and now she’s in Oman for six weeks visiting her boyfriend. She always gets homesick and she really misses our everyday life – dinner at the table, laughing at jokes and just being a family.
I felt almost sick to my stomach with anticipation
When she returns from trips, Anna always sees things with new eyes. She might not notice that I’ve moved a chair, but she looks around our home and notices all the things she’s missed, like her bed, or hanging out watching movies on the sofa.
I find it hard to say goodbye, because I don’t allow myself to show that I’m worried or scared. I have to put a lid on my emotions and just tell her to go and enjoy all those great experiences. It’s amazing how she’s learned how to handle herself and become a true globetrotter.
But when she arrives home I am so happy – and I always cook her favourite food!"
Published: February 27, 2019
Last edited: March 13, 2019