I've been thinking a lot about our Asian life lately. I think I shared before that I really missed being there for Christmas--it seemed so strange to be here in the States. NOT bad, certainly, just . . . strange. I mentioned this to John as we were talking late one night, just expressing my feelings at missing our friends, the food, and some other aspects of our life in Asia. Maybe it was finally hitting me that, as Clara Anne so aptly observed about a month after returning to the States, "I didn't really realize how special it was that we lived there until we moved here."
Certainly there were difficult parts of living life there, and I'm not trying to minimize that, but I had really gotten through many of the difficult parts and really loved my life there. Plus, I still have some very significant friendships there, which are just harder to maintain when I'm way over here. And, it's no secret that I really miss my house helper--not just what she did for me, but who she is. Her funny (sometimes quirky) personality, her friendship, her chatty dear self, is truly missed. I also really miss the discipleship relationship we had--we frequently talked about life/heart issues and prayed together. I miss that.
And, then there's the fact that my dear friend B is about to come back to the States for a half a year. As in, they get on a plane in a few hours. She wrote a really touching post about saying goodbye to friends and all the changes that had happened in their lives in the past three years. (And still managed to keep it from getting too long!!! How does she do it? I'm always so wordy!) I started to think, did I post pictures on my blog from our final weeks in Asia? All those farewells, all the goodbye dinners, the trips we took around town saying goodbye to our favorite places? Surely I posted all those pictures, right???
Alas, I went back and looked, and I never did. That time was such a crazy time of transition, and SO incredibly busy (I never want to do it again, moving internationally is a monumental task, and if we do it again we will NOT be crating!) that I just never got to it. After I realized that, it made me really sad. It is like after almost 8 years in that country I didn't document and record some of those last, precious memories. Now, I'm not trying to be melodramatic, there's always a possibility that we will end up back in that place, either to visit or who knows, maybe even to live again, but the fact is that I never posted all my "goodbye" pictures!
Determined to remedy this, I went through my photos and looked again at them. Then it dawned on me WHY I didn't post them. There are hundreds! Maybe even a thousand! Great photos, with precious people, in so many different places and situations, taken in our last few weeks there. Oh my!
[insert deep breath]
So, this week I hope to post a few pictures almost every day. I really want to record, even if it's just for myself, some of the relational journey that we were on those last few weeks before we moved back to the States. It was an emotional, trying, stressful, crazy, beautiful, bittersweet time, and I think that will come through in some of the photos. If nothing else, it's part of our family history that I want to record, even if I am about eight months late! Better now than in several years, right?
If you've been missing Asia (you know, vicariously, through me, ha!) check back this week to get another glimpse of what used to be common and familiar to us, and now seems very special and unique. Thanks for reading!