September 3, 2008

9/3/08 Chicago USA

These couple of weeks between trips have been a lot harder for me than before previous trips. Or maybe I just don't remember well. So many people are so used to me saying 'good bye' that they are used to it, like I'm just going out of town for the weekend. I understand it. In their world, I'm just a little piece. But it never gets easier for me because I leave everyone behind. Again and again.

Today I waited patiently for the airport shuttle to arrive. Mom passed the time by knitting. Her church group is making wool hats and scarves for the homeless and the poor. Mom looks good, in her element. It's raining outside. I wonder how much I'll miss the rain, miss the green, miss the trees.

Mom knitting a hat

When the shuttle arrives, it's as if I'm shot out of a canon. I dash outside handing my bags to the driver. I turn and mom is standing on the porch. I run back through the rain to hug her goodbye. Later I realize I don't hug her enough, I should hug her every time I see her.

Only this time I feel how small and fragile she is, as if I could crush her if I squeeze too tight. I can't talk because I'm going to cry. I let go of her, too soon, and run back to the van. I don't even look back, I can't or I'll let out the flood gates of tears.

Even at the airport, I still feel a little choked up. All those crazy thoughts arise like 'what am I doing?' The only thing I really know right now is that I love my mother, my brothers and all the rest of my family and friends. But I don't tell them that enough, if ever. So, not even one day into my year overseas and I've already learned something.

Now my plane is boarding for Korea, then on to Mongolia.