It's 6:40 a.m., and I am at the airport, looking at the Andes mountains. The sun has come up behind them. Earlier, for a few precious moments, their greens and browns were visible. Now I only see an outline in the sky -- a high, jagged dark purple pencil drawing against light blue and puffy white. The mountains are what I love most about Cali, and this sendoff feels like a gift. Thank you.
I buy a cup of coffee and wander through the little shops of colorful art and find bracelets my girls will love, thinking of how I didn't give Mom a goodbye hug. I thought we would see each other in the morning, but it was just too early to wake her. Even with the rush of getting out the door it hurt to leave the house without that closure, and now I am even more intent on visiting again.
Dan and I sit in the airport at the foot of those mountains and talk about the trip. How do we feel about Dad and Mom living in Colombia? We repeat the litany. They are in good hands. It's the best for Mom. The caretakers are kind and the home is paradise.
Our conversation turns to the more mundane. Were the beds comfortable? Not really. Did we like being served all the time, not getting to choose our meals? Absolutely. I loved what they had to offer: the juices, the meat, the mashed potatoes, the breads, the very simple salads tossed with oil and vinegar.
The breakfast coffee was perfect, too, I say, but Dan disagrees. He likes his scalding hot. I tell him I will miss the busyness of the place. Having so many people coming and going made me want to get moving, too.
It's time to board our flight, and we fly to Miami and then to Atlanta, where Dan will drive home. Just like that, our time together is over, and it feels like it's ending too soon. I will miss my brother. We have shared a rare and memorable journey.
On my flight from Atlanta to Pensacola, winding rivers reflect the sun and shine back up to me on this airplane as it hurtles through the sky.
It occurs to me that I look forward to bringing my family to Cali, not only to have them see my homeland, but also to introduce them to my parents' new community. I feel like a better person with Chris and the girls. It will be good to be home, and begin to plan the next adventure.