I was in the hospital for another 4 weeks. My broken bones had healed but the doctors were still concerned about my head injury. I don't know how many MRI's I had. "Stephan, we're going to discharge you tomorrow after rounds. Except for your eyesight, you seem to have mended very well. You'll need to wear corrective lens, probably for the rest of your life."
"Where will I go when I'm discharged? I have no home."
"We got in touch with the Danish consulate concerning your mother's sister. Your dad gave us papers so with the help of the consulate we have contacted your aunt. She needs to make arrangements to come to the States and until she does, you'll live at the Danish consulate. During this time, you'll learn the language so you can attend school in Denmark."
And so my fate was decided. I wanted to tell Michael what was happening but I knew that he and I wouldn't meet again. That night as I slept, I heard a whisper, "Remember, God loves you."
I woke up thinking that Michael was here, but he wasn't except I knew that he was the one that whispered into my ear that night.
The next morning, a man from the Danish consulate came into my room with a set of clothes for me. An orderly came and helped me to the showers, then helped me dressed. "Wait here while I get the chair."
At first I didn't understand why the chair, there was one in the room. When he wheeled in a wheel chair then I understood. "I can walk."
"No, its hospital policy that you are wheeled out of the hospital, so hop in for a final ride."
I was helped into the car that was waiting for us. The gentleman from the consulate introduced himself as John. The ride to the airport was quiet, arriving at the airport, "You'll be staying at our embassy in Washington. They have your accommodations all set and that's where your aunt will be in three or four days."
I never had flown before so its was a very interesting trip for me. I hope my dad had enough money to cover all of this, inwardly I smiled at that. The ride was short, it seemed we no sooner got to altitude before we began to prepare for landing.
Taking off in a plane is one thing but landing is something else. Think about going down and crashing and then the bump when the wheels touch the tarmac. When we left the plane, there was a limo waiting with Danish flags in the front of each headlight. John took me by the arm and guided me toward the limo.
On the ride to the embassy, John pointed out the various tourist sights. We drove pass the White House, Congress and the Washington monument. "When you have time before you leave for Denmark, you can spend some time here visiting your history."
"I think I'd enjoy that."
Arriving at the Embassy, there was a young lady waiting for us. John introduced us and she asked that I follow her. She took me a room and indicated that this is where I'll sleep while at the Embassy, then she showed me the dining room and a TV room. Before leaving she handed me a portfolio which had my schedule. Realizing that dinner was soon to be served, I went to my room to wash and realized the only clothes I had I was wearing. I didn't know what to do, these clothes weren't appropriate for dinner at an Embassy. When it came time to go to the dining room, I just sat in my room. I must have sat there about an hour, when there was a knock on my door. Opening the door, John was standing there.
"Why didn't you come to dinner?"
"These are the only clothes I have. I didn't think it would be appropriate to come to the dining room in jeans and sneakers."
John began too laugh, walking to a door, he slid it open, "look".
I did and began to laugh. The closet had clothes that were my size. "Get dressed and come too the dining room."
I took a shower, dressed in slacks with a contrasting jacket, even wore a tie. When I walked into the dining room everyone was standing around talking and holding a drink. A young man came over and handed me a glass, "Coke". John stood by my side the rest of the evening. He introduced me to the Embassy staff and the Ambassador. I don't know what they knew about me except my aunt was coming to take me back to her home. For a 15 year old kid, I was way over my head. Dinner was nice, I watched John and pretty much followed what he did. There was no way I would know which utensil to use I grew up with a fork, knife and spoon. John kept looking at me and when they would serve me, he quietly indicate which utensil I was to use. I smiled back at him to say thanks.
The next day, started my lessons. I had Danish history and language for 2 hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. Lunch wasn't as formal as dinner but I watched as the other staff ate.
My aunt arrived 2 weeks later and not in three days, there were certain papers that needed to be signed to give her custodial rights. Evidently my father decided this was the time to balk at releasing me. It seemed he wanted her to buy me or to pay for my hospital expenses. He evidently forgot about the paper he signed when I was first admitted to the hospital but her lawyer had found those papers and that was all it took. Going before the judge, she was granted not only custodial rights but she effectively adopted me.
When I saw her for the first time, I was shocked. She looked so much like my mother that for a quick moment I thought my mother had returned. She had a smile on her face, I had tears in my eyes. Holding out her arms to me, I gave her a hug as if my life depended on it. Looking over her shoulder, I thought I saw Michael smiling at me.
For the next few days, we sat and talked. I still had my studies but now we only talked in Danish. I was amazed at how fast I was picking it up. When I didn't know a word, I would say it in English and she would say it in Danish. At night, I would thank God for sending Michael to me and I was thankful I had accepted to live than die.
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