September 28, 2022, at Kansas City
I am one hour from my 24 hour online check-in with Delta. Departure for the first leg of my trip is tomorrow, but I am timing this letter to arrive in your email-box while I am somewhere over the Atlantic and well on my way to Lisbon.
At this moment I am a torrent of emotions; anxiety, excitement, anticipation… I apologize if I have been shorts with you as this day drew nearer. I’ve imperfectly tried to suppress my tendency to become annoying at partings. You have known this in me for over 48 years, and to your credit you accept this as what conspires to define “me”.
Talking to you this way feels odd, but also familiar. I had forgotten that 47 years ago I sent you daily letters while I was off solo camping and backpacking in Colorado. You gave me another new insight into our history when you revealed yesterday that you still have those letters. Someday I will have to see what the 23 year old me revealed to you. I don’t think we have ever since shared in writing our thoughts to each other.
35 days is not so long to be apart, yet today it looms before me like an impenetrable wall of time. I need to focus on the moment and not “count the days”. I need to embrace my journey and not my destination.
I promise that I will listen to my body. I will also listen to my spirit. I will be open to taking alternate paths, making decisions in the context of the day and not be driven by my expectations. Although I have largely abandoned the practice of religion, I intend to use my faith roots as the language to embrace and appreciate the centuries of worshipers and places of worship that my footsteps will mirror.
I already miss you, even though you are at the other end of the house, not knowing that I am “speaking to you” now with my fingers. My bag is packed and remains heavier than I would like. So it is with my heart. Perhaps the later will ease a bit when I land and become preoccupied with adapting to Portugal.
Love to you, our children, and our grandchildren. Peter