I write today from 32,000 feet over the Midwestern plains on my way to Chicago to catch my connecting flight to Madrid. I’ve just said the hardest goodbye of my life: to my parents. It’s different than last time. Maybe because I’m traveling completely alone this time. Maybe because I will be gone for longer this time. Mostly though, I think it’s because I’ve grown so close to them over the past summer of living with them. I really won the parent lottery.
My dad can be a little rough around the edges, but the kind, thoughtful man of integrity that lies beneath shines through if you look for it. His acts of kindness and generosity are not always outwardly obvious, but they run deep. His generosity toward me is the reason I am able to be on this plane today. Sure, I bought the ticket and made all the necessary arrangements for my visa, job and accommodations, but has been a support for me in a variety of ways. He keeps me in check. He’s the one I go to with freak-outs about anything travel or money-related. He just knows so much about so many different things. In this age of Google, we ask the internet for everything, but sound advice spoken from true experience will remain priceless no matter how advanced technology gets.
What can be said about Pam? Everyone loves Pam. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that from the numerous people who know her. It’s just true. She is the most lovable goofball on the face of the earth. We have so much fun together, and even as I write this my eyes are welling with tears at the thought of the fact that I won’t be able to be in her presence for an undetermined amount of time. We share many passions: exercising, pounding coffee (strong,straight up black, and always hot), flexing our music theory muscles by noticing the unique harmonies or syncopations in songs we like. I am fantastically fortunate to call my own mother a kindred spirit. I admire her genuine gentle kindness and patience. I also aspire to one day have upper arms as perfectly sculpted as hers.
A trembling “thank you” and “love you” was all I could mutter through the streaming tears at the Fargo airport today. That hardly suffices for what they’ve done and continue to do for me. So thank you, Mom and Dad. I can’t say it enough.
If you know my parents and happen to see them, please give them a hug from me. (Dale may prefer a high five or a handshake).
Now: off to SPAIN! Talk to ya’ll on the other side 🙂