Monday, August 21, 2006

Twenty Years Ago Today and 31 Days from Now

This picture was taken on Friday, August 15th, 1986 (Go 80s!). It is of my brother Tomi and I, and it is one of the last moments we'd spend living in the same country to this day. On Thursday, August 21st, 1986 -exactly 20 years ago - Tomi took of for Florida to study at the Palm Beach Junior College (also affectionately known as the "peanut butter and jelly college") and would remain in Florida, working at the Kennedy Memorial Hospital, once he graduated. By the time he decided to return to Finland, I had taken off to Sweden and would eventually continue my journey on to Florida. So all of my adult life I have not lived close enough to my brother to have a more constant relationship with him. One of the many downsides of being a wandering spirit...

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,
Tia

26 comments:

jennypenny said...

What a great post. Sounds like both you and your brother are great people and are kindred spirits. Its so nice to hear that there are some relationships that can never be broken depsite time or distance. Congratulations on being chosen as site of the day!n Michele sent me here.

mar said...

You made me think of my little brother...we have been in diffent continents for over 20 years now... and he is a poor writer, even e-mails are rare. And still without google talk! Good luck to you in NZ, wow, that's a change. Michele sent me this time.

mar said...

Forgot the main line:
Congrats on being Michele's site of the day!!!!!!

kenju said...

Ita, what a nice tribute to your brother. I always wished I had a brother, but I'm an only child. I wish you the greatest of luck on your trip to NZ, and in making your life there. Michele sent me.

Gypsy said...

I miss my brother, who lives far away on another continent and has for the last 6 years or so. Best of luck to you on your new journey, and may you and Tomi come together again soon.

Congrats on SOTD!

chrysalis said...

Good Luck in Auckland!

Hello from Michele's!

cyndy - milehighdiva said...

What a beautiful post and tribute to the relationship you have with your brother.
Congrats on being a Michele site of the day

rampant bicycle said...

Oh, good luck with your move! I hope it goes well and that New Zealand is a happy place for you.

Congrats on being Site of the Day!

Shephard said...

Tia, very sweet.
What fun travels.
I lived in FL for 14 years, and have since wandered.

Michele says hello!
~S

colleen said...

I'd like to see one of you and him together today. A before and after. I lost 2 brothers and it broke my heart. I still have 3 more. michele sent me.

colleen said...

That's great! It's making me smile!

Miss Cow is a Cow said...

Hello michele sent me. I looked around a bit and love your blog.

Pearl said...

Glad to hear you are keeping in contact even if you can't see each other as often as you might like.

Tomi Anttila said...

Thanx :)

Paige said...

Hi, here by way of Michele's today.

Becky said...

That's so cute seeing the pictures of you and your brother from "then" and "now." Though I've come to your site a couple of times now, I did follow the link from Michele's page. Congrats on getting selected:)

Terri said...

Hi from Michele's....
My first time here so had to read back about you moving to New Zealand. How exciting! Such an adventure ahead for you and I wish you all the best.
What a great post on your brother. I enjoyed it very much.
Bon Voyage to you on your journey.

Sparkling Diamond said...

Wow! That would be so hard to have a family member go off like that and not be close enough to visit whenever you like! I have always wanted to visit new Zealand...have a good friend there.
Good Luck in your travels!
Here from Michele's!

barbie2be said...

what a great post! michele sent me.

Anonymous said...

I loved that post...my brother and I are also far apart...and I miss having him a regular part of my life...especially because I can't grow up closer to my neice and nephew.

Michele sent me :)
Steph

Jennie said...

Hi Tia, Lovely post. I'm visiting you from Michele's today.
Jen

Goofy Girl said...

Sounds like you're about to go on a fun adventure!

Michele sent me!!

bobealia said...

22 comments! Where have I been? Site of the Day!!! Congratulations!!!!
I love the pic. You guys look SO 80s. Like the epitome of 80s dress for normal folk (not the extreme dress is what I mean). I think I had the same hair, sweater, and jeans... and I think my Dad had (and probably still has) Tomi's shirt. He was so young to be alone in a new country!!

hanulf said...

Hello from a fellow Scandinavian, Tia! I stumbled upon your site blogsurfing today (Michele thus did NOT send me, but I guess I'll have to check out her site, too, now... hehe.) Anyway, like your blog, and can relate to this post as I left all my siblings as well as the rest of the family in Norway almost exactly 10 years ago. Felt just like Tomi stepping off that plane... Now they're spread out between Norway and Sweden and I'm still the only one over here. Hälsa Nya Zealand - villket äventyr!

KaraMia said...

I like this post, funny how our past shapes our future. Here via michele today

h&b said...

What lovely, lovely pictures of you & your brother ( of course, the more recent one is the more tasteful of the two ... lacking that 80's look and all that ;)

I must also say, you both look happier and more at ease in the 2nd pic .. but I suppose that comes with age. Youth can be so .. tense .. if you know what I mean ...

NZ will love you, and you will love NZ. I can tell. Really ;)

( oh, and here from Michele's today )