A little over 10,000 miles in three months and we’ve reached the end. There were portions of the trip when I looked forward to settling into a stable home after moving around too much but nearing this trip’s finish line, it was like “Wait, wait, wait! Hold it for a moment longer.” Something in me changed like I’m a stretched rubber band that can’t return to its original shape. What this trip taught me among other things, was that we truly worked as a family unit and whatever differences the four of us had, we were the yin to the other’s yang, the yang to the other’s yin. Maybe, Joshua and Jimmy are too young to realize that they are each other’s yin and yang but maybe for now, it’s enough for their parents to discern this themselves. At the end of the day, after the trials that test our patience and breadth of understanding, we balance each other out and love one another no matter what.
It’s hard to say goodbye to people who have graciously and generously hosted us but we’ve been saying goodbye every two to four days during this trip, we should be used to it by now, right? With the Dizons, it was harder than normal to say goodbye because we stayed with them the longest. They threw a Paw Patrol themed birthday party for Jimmy who screamed his signature shriek when his guests arrived bearing gifts while Joshua danced with the gusto of a pro. Jeanette and Will came, their five kids in tow and that was enough to create the havoc required in parties. It turns out that they live near Princeton and so we conveniently left Joshua and Jimmy with them when we had to attend a forum in the area on May 31st. The kids had a blast while Jason and I had a rare date in the famous university.
Saying goodbye to the truck:
Saying goodbye to the swans:
Saying goodbye to the parks:
Just as we had planned, we bought the pick-up truck in San Francisco and sold it in New York. We met Chris one morning in Lareina’s house in California and he readily helped us by putting the vehicle info on Craigslist by the time we reached NYC. However, the one who eventually purchased the truck was a friend of our friends from Long Island.
While driving us to the airport, Eric, the Avalanche’s new owner, shared with us life truths, including his go-to source of inspiration, the story of two monks who crossed a river. The older monk carried a woman who asked for help while the younger monk seethed with disappointment the rest of their journey because he thought it was an improper act. The older monk told him that he left the woman on the other side of the river but asked why was he still carrying her. Whenever there is something in need of letting go, Eric gently reminds himself to put the lady down. Don’t burden yourself and travel light.
We tried to travel light on this trip. We try to travel as light as we can in this life but it’s challenging and we need reminders like Eric’s.
When I visited the States as a child with my grandparents, we stayed with Tita Gloria, Tito Sixto and their son, Vincent who was my playmate way back then with seventies photos with seventies hairstyle as proof. My two boy’s finally met and played Lego and cat’s cradle with Vincent’s three girls, bridging decades that passed. The kitchen where my Lola and Tita Gloria spent time chatting was exactly how I recalled it was with collections of plates from around the world. Vincent’s wife, Anna introduced us to sumptuous, buttery steamers, a Long Island favorite.
We rarely have photos of the four of us together and the latest one was taken by Melody by the Roosevelt Island Tram station. Jason and Jimmy flew back to China while Joshua and I flew back to Manila. We each have matters to take care of in each country so we have to temporarily separate. It feels odd after being together 24/7 but it brings me back to the feeling that we did right by taking this trip because it strengthened our family and drove home the point that we could dream of something and make it real.
I still need to blog about the Agile Learning Center and the Princeton Learning Cooperative, about meeting up with Melody and Mew Yee and inserting a quick visit to the Highline but this farewell blog had to come out first because that’s the one that bubbled urgently to the surface.