My departure, November 7, 2013
I am sorry I have left any of you hanging who have been following this blog. I arrived home a week ago and hit the ground running. I got home just in time to see my grandkids in Halloween costumes and dress up myself as a Chinese lady (I even got my nails painted before I left with Chinese characters on them.) On Friday I drove to California with my husband to see my son, daughter in law and new grandson. Life does not slow down, but my body is speaking to me to get more rest. The transition in time zones always takes a bit for me to adjust.
I was not prepared for the sadness to hit when I left last Thursday morning. At 6:30 am Grace, Catherine, Amber, Gloria, Linda, Rona, and Carol arrived to say goodbye and carry my entire luggage down stairs. Of course they came bestowing gifts upon me and so much love and tears flowed as we hugged and said our farewells. They are so generous with themselves to me and others. How can they ease my trip they ask? How can they share their love a little bit more? I just know they listen not only to what I say, but what I like. If they hear me say I like or want something they want to buy it for me. They brought me some gifts of things I saw on the street I don’t even remember liking until they gave it to me and I was reminded me of it. It is really quite incredible how warm and thoughtful they are.
I am relieved not to be a Rock Star. It can be wearing to always be on stage, be always ready for photos, and always read to give a word of counsel. At my party they all shared words of thanks and things they learned from me and then announced; “now Joyce will share her words of counsel on her departing.” They call me their “lucky bird” or angel. I believe they are my angels. They bring me so much love and light it is incredible. I just want to always be a light for them and bring them hope for a brighter future. When they bestow their gifts they thank me, hug me and bow. It is me that feels like the “lucky bird”.
The women who went with me to get my finger nails painted chose what the characters would say on them. On one hand it says “happy, happy all day, and the other hand “lucky all the time”. My life is richer due to them.
My flight home was long and tiring. I shared a seat with a delightful couple from Korea. The husband (Lee) had just retired from a broadcasting job and is visiting his wife’s sister in California. His English was good. I shared some candy with them a few times and his wife tried to refuse and said; “we have nothing to share with you”. I was eating some crackers later on and Lee bumped my hand and held out his hand smiling. I was glad he felt comfortable to ask. I showed them pictures of my kids and grandkids and she said; “oh you are rich”. Yes I am, I think it is pretty clear I am a lucky, rich girl.
I have already begun receiving my letters of gratitude from the students and requests for guidance. I call myself the Chinese version of Dear Abbey. I will share some of the letters in later posts. I cried when I got to China and now I cry when I return. The things they share with me are certainly a witness that they listen to what I teach and want desperately to live their lives full out. I am working to do the same here at home.