adventures abroad, travel

Day 10: (Port Kelang) Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

The port where we’ve docked is a good hour from Kuala Lumpur proper, so there’s ample opportunity to nod off en route.

But I wake up in time to see the city, the old train station, the national mosque, the war memorial and museum visit. And of course, to see the towers.

(G had already done this tour, so he really didn’t need to come do it again. But I’m on it, so he signed up again. Did I mention, likes me lilbit? – More than a little, and a lot more than like, he says.)

As usual, because of the long ride and the full itinerary, everything we stop to do is a big rush.

Back on board the ship, we head to our cabins – no socializing this afternoon … It’s packing night. I’m carrying off (which I debate briefly but ultimately decide is the only way I’m getting everything off the ship). I get squared away, showered and dressed for dinner, when G calls to say that T has invited everyone to come down and meet for drinks before dinner.

I buy everyone a round, and we all have a great time hanging out.

Then we go for a final dinner (or is it last supper?) The one that seems less “forever.”

Afterward we all go to the last show which is really quite awful but none of us is willing to leave the group to skip out.

Finally that torture ends, and we say our goodbyes, give hugs, and surprisingly manage not to cry all over each other.

Because all these initials I’ve been using don’t do them justice: Trudy, Greg, Viviana, Andy, Patricia, Suzanne. May we all meet again. ❤️

flotsam

Whatever happened to The Boy?

The day before I am scheduled to fly down, I reach out to the boy. Not a lot of advance warning, no pressure to fit me in. I know you might be busy or out of town, I just thought I’d see if you were around if you want to grab coffee or something. 

We aren’t in touch; texts at Christmas and his birthday. I think of him from time to time, but with simple warmth, good memories, prayers for good things. When someone (very occasionally) asks, I tell the whole truth. I don’t know, but last I’d heard he was living full time in Miami; I don’t know but I assume he’s met someone, maybe gotten married, maybe even has kids. But these are only guesses, we aren’t in touch for me to know. 

The morning I’m to leave, he responds. He can’t see me in Miami, because he lives, just newly, in Chicago. And more news, he’ll be a father in about a month. 

His happiness travels from his fingertips to my screen to me. My face hurts from the smile on it… he’s well, he’s happy, a wife, a baby… I think he’ll make a good dad. 

I am happy for him, and also selfishly happy for myself… I’ve thought I’d be happy for him, and I’m glad to find that I really am, and that the place in my heart where he still lives feels a warm and peaceful sense that all is exactly as it should be

And that is what became of the boy 

flotsam

Goodbye for now

All the jumbled feelings of losing someone, even when it’s expected. She was younger than me, with teen kids and a husband and friends without number who will feel her absence sharply. She was sicker than sick at the end, having fought the evil that is cancer with all that she had. 

My memories are a mixed bag, full of all the complexities and challenges that come with such sharply different personalities, and also with all the warmth of familiarity that comes with having been in each others lives, though mostly at the periphery in our adult lives, for – well, forever from our small perspectives. All her life, all but a year of mine. Certainly as far back as we’d remember. 

Sometimes we found each other challenging, but there was still always love. 

I am sad, even more so for closer family and friends. Also I am relieved for her, and the end of pain and sickness. Touched to see how many she inspired in her battle. Thankful to know true perfect healing is hers now. Hopeful that we will see each other again, by grace, when we are both made perfect and are full and joyful in His presence. Happy for her, that she is there today. 

Have fun with Jesus, Lora. Say hi to Mommom and Poppop for me. Give Kelly a hug. Love you. 

And amid this, because there is not quite enough emotion in the day, my parents closed on their new home. It’s great and exciting and happy and feels so strange amid the other news. And even this happiness comes with just a hint of gray, that it means the days of having them here with me, sharing my place, are numbered. 

It’s a day of feelings. Quite the range of them, actually. 

exploring and revisiting, flotsam, today has a theme song

Invisible strings

This looks familiar,
Vaguely familiar…

I spent the weekend at a reunion – if you can call a first-time meeting a reunion. But in this world of online connections, these people who came together to bring and receive Christmas cheer have become something more. A mini-tribe, as it were. It’s hard to believe that 8 months ago, we were all strangers. Continue reading “Invisible strings”

flotsam

Throwback… Tuesday? (kindred spirits)

Yeah, yeah. The meme is “Throwback Thursday.” And it’s only Tuesday. But sticking to the meme proper would be insufficiently flotsamy for my taste.

Plus, who can wait that long?

I posted this back in 2010, originally. So much has happened since then. So much has changed, and so much is the same. And something wonderfully exciting is brewing on my horizon, and this post helps put some context around an exciting new development for those who haven’t been here long enough to know why…
Continue reading “Throwback… Tuesday? (kindred spirits)”