Wednesday, March 17, 2010

A trip to the homeland.

Im writing this from a little country called Paraguay.
Where is that? South America, that tiny land-locked country that shares border with Brazil, Argentina and Bolivia.

And in that little country, ladies and gentlemen, was where I was born.
Its been 3 weeks that we have been here (we as in my fiance Andrew and my mom and dad). What has happened in that time?
Well, Andrew has realized that alot of who I am is reflected in who my family is.
I am like my Opa, who loves to laugh and joke with his kids and grandkids.
I am like my Oma, who always has the sweetest face accompanied with a funny remark. She talks loudly and laughs hard.
I am like my Uncle Richard, who seems to never be serious but is so compassionate and wise at the same time. He loves kids, and although he doesnt have an biological ones of his own, he and his wife have "adopted" many in this town.
I am like my Tante Lily, who is sensative and kind, always taking care of her family.
I am like my cousin Tanya, always ready with a smart remark, making people laugh.

and although my family is so very different from many that I know, it is my family. and I love them all.

This trip has been oh so sweet, but with it come a bit of bitter.
My opa is not who he once was. He has alzheimers, and is deteriorating quickly. Its hard, watching him struggle with things. He can hardly remember our names or where he put his wallet.
He loves his children and grandchilden fiercly. He is kind and hard working and loves to play practical jokes. He loves to laugh. He knows how to fix everything, he knows how to ride horses and milk cows and use a whip. He once killed a puma with a stick! He rides a motorcycle to the store to get anything oma needs. He swims with alligators, he catches tarantulas, he cuddles puppies. He is strong and works hard.

I have to say goodbye to him in a few days, knowing that I will never see him again on this earth. It will be hard.
but I am so glad I made this trip. It was worth it to see him one more time. We got to laugh together, to dance in the rain together. We got to milk cows and coral horses and kill mosquitos. For a few short weeks, I got to wake up each morning with him here. I got to share mate with him and make him laugh.

This trip has been worth it.