The Goodbye

I woke up the next morning, exhausted. I had stayed up a bit too late putting the finishing touches on Big L’s scrapbook. Tired, but worth it.

Again, we went over to my sister’s house. She had brunch for us. And then, everyone looked through Big L’s scrapbook, recalling all of the wonderful memories.
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And, far too soon, it was time to say goodbye to my sister and her family.
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Tears and hugs. My nephew, Owen, who is the same age as Big L said, “This is a solemn moment in our history. All good people must say goodbye.” Truth.
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Bags were packed. 😦
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Last Exit in Pennsylvania. NO! Can’t we just stay in Pennsylvania?
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But, no, we had to go to the airport.

When we arrived, there were many other host families there already. Many of the kids seemed to be congregating and catching up on their summers. But, Big L stuck with me and my parents, beyond yelling a quick hello to some boys from her school. I was a bit clueless about how this whole thing worked, but once again, Big L showed her maturity by going up to the chaperone and requesting her passport, so we could wait in line to get her boarding pass. And, I had to smile when we were at the ticket counter, checking her in. The agent realized that she was not old enough to travel alone, as many of the kids weren’t. He had already checked many of the host kids in, but perhaps they were all old enough to travel alone. She’s not. So, he asked where the chaperone was. My mom went to grab the chaperone, and Big L whispered “she doesn’t speak English.” Uh oh. The chaperone was very confused, but Big L did a bit of translating for her and sorted things out. Clever girl, speaking more English than her chaperone, meanwhile telling us that she does not speak English. Yeah, sure.

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With my parents.
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They didn’t coordinate wearing KU colors to go with Big L’s KU shirt, but it’s quite fitting.

And, the goodbye.
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Wow. It doesn’t seem so long since they walked through security for our hello, and then, they were gone. 😦

My mom kept saying, “she’s not the same girl we picked up at the airport.” No, no, she’s not. Remember her? That girl was brave, but this girl truly opened up and is so very loved. I just keep praying she remembers that.

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