I had planned on posting this image on the 15th, since that is when the picture was taken, but decided later that it should be posted to commemorate this day. (And thanks to Tomi, I actually remembered to do it!) As this picture was taken, Tomi was getting ready for his farewell party at our summer cottage (behind us) and I was getting ready to go out with my friends. This was also *the* night I got caught drinking for the first time.... But that is a whole different story and I'll leave it for another time....
My little pocket calendar, noting that Pan Am took my brother away. Quite a few tears were shed that day - and many days following. From here started a very tough several months for our family, as we worried about him in the US by himself. At least by the time I moved to Florida in 1990, I had visited before, we knew the area, and Tomi had laid all the ground work for me to be OK and for my family to feel a bit more at ease. He, on the other hand, stepped off that Pan Am flight and - Ta-Dah! - figured it out by himself from there! I can only imagine how challenging and scary that was for him at the time. I can somewhat relate right now.
I realized today that this day next month will be my first day in New Zealand. 21st of September I will step off that flight in Auckland on my own, with no idea what direction to head to or what will happen next. I am scared - but I also can't wait. Once I move beyond the pain of letting go and saying goodbyes, there is new life waiting. So today I remember my past with fondness and gratitude, and I look forward into the future.
[added image on 8.22.06 after a request by Colleen]
big brother and little sister, in Florida, january, 2006.
I love you Tomi - no matter what continent I am on.
your little sister,