Saying Goodbye

Living a life like mine, it’s hard to complain. I have a job, an apartment, and people in at least four different countries who would be willing to help me out at the drop of a hat. This is a marked improvement over where I was before I started traveling, and, all things considered, it’s a pretty good way to live.

That being said, living abroad isn’t always fun. It’s certainly not always easy. Before you even set foot on that airplane, you know that you’re going to be missing out on things back home. When I left for Poland, I flew out on the day before my grandfather’s 80th birthday party. I’ve missed two Thanksgivings, one Easter, and soon to be two March Madness tournaments.

Today, I’ll have missed two funerals.

I’m lucky enough to have grown up with three sets of grandparents: my mom’s parents, my dad’s parents, and a couple who ‘took in’ my dad and helped him out when he first moved to Michigan from Ohio. My brother and I grew up calling them Grandma Ginia (short for Virginia) and Grandpa Bob. Last winter, my family buried Grandma Ginia while I was giving lessons in Poland. Today, my family will bury Grandpa Bob while I’m giving lessons in Italy.

Like I said, you know before you leave that you’ll miss things back home. Moreover, everyone back home knows that you’re going to miss things. My family knows, understands, and accepts that I can’t be there for the funeral, but that doesn’t make it any easier on this side of the ocean. My family are hurting, and I can’t be there with them.

Both Grandma Ginia and Grandpa Bob were very supportive of me, especially in my moving around. They both loved that I’m doing what I am. And that’s what I’m left with – a family that loves and respects me for what I am and what I’m doing, and who would support me even though I’ve missed some of the most important goodbyes.



6 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye

  1. You don’t know me, I am Debbie, a friend of Virginia’s that lived a couple doors down. I remember when you went to Poland, because Virginia was so excited when you set up your blog. She wanted to read all about your adventures and she was having some trouble printing the pages. She didn’t like reading them off the screen. I think she loved holding onto the pages that the words were written on. She called me to help her get those pages printed. She would print every adventure you posted. She did so love to travel. Both her and Bob will be greatly missed. I am sure the both of them wish you all the joy in your adventures of travels and teaching.


    1. Thank you, Debbie! Yes, Grandma even sent me a ‘housewarming’ box, with all sorts of little things to make my apartment in Poland a little more homey. Both of them were so supportive of everything I did.


  2. That was a very nice tribute to Bob and Virginia ( Grandpa and Grandma ) who loved and respected all your family
    very much. We’ll miss them too. I’m so proud of you all. Love Papa.


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