I am in the Atlanta airport waiting for my flight to Newark to start boarding. Sorry for the silence over the past couple days, but I’m sure everyone understands that I was happily much too busy spending time with my family and boyfriend to take care of duties like email or blogging :-). The last few days were as close to perfect as a few days get. My only regret is that there are so many people that I didn’t get to see. Everyone I missed- I’ll see you in July! I miss you! Really, though, it was pretty miraculous how much I managed to squeeze in to my 3 days stateside. I got in to Atlanta on Sunday morning, in plenty of time to make it to Mass at my church. My family and Joey met me at the airport, bearing flowers, sweet tea in a thermos, and my brand new Notre Dame class ring. Mass was LOVELY- praying with my family and Joey for the first time since my 2nd 1st Communion, seeing assorted family friends, singing MY songs and MY liturgy– ! I was wiped out on Sunday, but functioned much better than I ever, ever function when severely sleep deprived- thanks for the prayers, they helped! I unpacked some, napped some, and in the evening, met up with Joey’s family for dinner (MEXICAN FOOD) and then went to the Coldplay concert with Joey, his brother, and his brother’s girlfriend. The concert was, naturally, absolutely beautiful. In another fortuitous turn of events, I found $40 cash on the ground with no one around to claim it, so I felt no qualms about buying a $35 tshirt :-D. Coldplay is also giving away free live CDs at every concert (and online), so I emerged from a kick-butt concert with a free tshirt, free CD, and $5 extra! The Force was with me, what can I say. I came home after the concert and crashed in my bed… ahhhhh. On Monday, I slept in some then met a dear friend for lunch at my favorite local restaurant in my hometown. We were blessed with plenty of time to catch up and share our hearts. So good to see her!! Monday night was the main event- Mark’s graduation from 8th grade. Before getting ready, though, I got to chill out in the sunny backyard with my dad and boyfriend. Quality bonding time all around. Ack, flight’s boarding- more later.
So, where was I- ah, graduation. Have I mentioned that Mark and Mom both have bronchitis? So that dampened the celebrations a bit. Mark was on the mend, but Mom still had a bad fever and cough. The kid looked VERY handsome- nice grey dress slacks, tie, and blazer. The blazer just made his shoulders look even broader and the slacks made him look even taller. He has grown up so fast. The ceremony was nice, a lot like mine was. My dad’s brother and sister were also able to join us for the evening. I got to see some of my old teachers at the reception, which was fun. Mark played the sullen teenager role until Joey and I could get him to lighten up in the car later. Wish it could have been a night of joy and triumph for him, but middle school was not the picnic for him that it was for me. He is more than ready to move on to high school. Eventually we talked him into going out to eat, and we all went to O’Charleys, his favorite. That night, I got to talk to a couple Notre Dame kids on the phone, which made my heart happy.
And today was a whirlwind of packing and food. We got everything settled with my suitcases, then Mark, Joey and I set out to hit up Coldstone and Chickfila. This was after we had already consumed cinnamon buns and spaghetti :-D. What can I say, you only live once. All too soon, they were dropping me off at the airport. Humorously, my family disinfected themselves with hand sanitizer, not only on their hands but their faces as well, so that I could hug them goodbye. We went through the routine we know all too well- the quick hugs, the promises to call and email, the turning away before getting too emotional. I got a little teary eyed, but we managed to keep it in check. It’s just so hard to say goodbye when we just barely said hello. Still, I am SO grateful for our time together, short as it was. It’s incredible to me how much we packed in those few days. It did my heart a lot of good, let me tell you. And I am VERY excited about Jerusalem- it will have all of the community and spiritual support that Athens lacked. I am dancing a happy dance of excitement in anticipation of new friends, new places, and new experiences. I know that it is right for me to be doing this. Plus, it’s only seven weeks, after which I will have a whole month and a half with my family and friends. Then- SENIOR YEAR. Could I BE more blessed? I seriously doubt it. God is good.