Yesterday I said farewell to my youngest brother and his wife. There is a 7 year gap between us and at times, it seems like an entire generation. Other times, they act way more mature than me. They have been married for just over 3 years now and have lived in Missouri (where they met) and Texas (where they went to live in a Zen Center for a year and then decided to stick around Austin as they liked it so much). We all knew that they had a lust for travel and for seeing the world and that it was just a matter of time before they took off. My sister in law is originally from Bulgaria and her parents still live there. Their plan is to live with her parents through the end of the year and then travel to see the world. Thailand is on their list for early next year, but that is just one of the many stops they plan to make. They may be gone a year or they may be gone three years. They may or may not be back in the US in 2012.
They left Texas in late July and drove North, stopping to see friends along the way. Then they were here in PA with us for the last month or so and it was so nice to have them here. We saw them and enjoyed them as much as possible.
Saying goodbye was harder than I thought. While they have always lived in other places, they were still always accessible. They hopped a plane back in April with open ended tickets to be here for us when Allie died. My brother drove us to the funeral home to talk about arrangements. He drove us back a few days later to pick up our daughter’s ashes. He researched grief counselors for us. He researched natural remedies to help us with grief. He held my hand as I cried.
It is my supreme hope that Allie’s little sister or brother will be on his or her way in the near future. And it breaks my heart that my brother and sister-in-law will not be here for his or her birth. We will have to Skype them when we find out we are pregnant and introduce them to their niece or nephew in the same way. I know they are not gone forever and that they will be back in time to see the baby or babies grow into toddlers or children or kids or young adults. But I hate that they were here for the sadness and might not be here for the joy. But that is the way life is, right? While I miss them and in a way, mourn their absence, they are off, exploring the world, backpacks and all. I am so very proud of them for following their dreams. I am excited to see the kind of people they become with so many countries to see and experiences to have. And I am excited at the prospect of the good to come that they can share with us when they finally come back home.
Safe travels, Jeff and Neda. We love you so!