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Wondering About Goodbye.

July 1, 2010

I am taking a breather from weddings and will be writing something personal today. I hope my readers will forgive me. If you don’t feel like personal, just scroll on down and ta-dah pretty pictures of blue dresses.

My parents are leaving the States on July4th. We have been here for 8 years now. Seems like a lifetime. My dad came here on a work assignment for originally 3 years but we stayed for 8. I graduated from high school here, felt in love, and got married. Most days I feel more American than Malaysian and I have a minor identity crisis whenever someone asks me where I am from. Sometimes when an especially snooty person asks me where I am from since I am so obviously foreign, I smile (with the kind of smile where just your mouth moves) and say “Why, Houston, of course!” and they look a little perplexed. Most times, I am not exactly sure what to say.

I don’t think I realized what marrying Cory would do in terms of my new family relationship. I talk to his (and now mine) grandmother Sherri every fortnight Sundays. Cory and I make a very cozy family unit of two. When I got married all I thought was “I don’t want to live apart from this man”. If I were not married now, I would be on a plane along with my parents July 4th going back to country I love but seems hazy in my memories. Never has it been more obvious to me that Cory is my family now.

It hasn’t hit me yet I think that my family and I are going to be continents apart. My head knows it but my heart hasn’t caught up yet. All I can selfishly think about is “What am I going to do?” “Who is going to bail me out when I get in trouble?” and I happen to do a lot of that. Who are the restaurant managers going to call when I forget a leave my cell phone at the restaurant? There won’t be an email waiting in my in-box while I ignorantly think “How pleasant, the phone hasn’t rang all day today!”. “Jesselyn, Your phone is at the Jason’s Deli. Maybe I need to get you a lanyard so you can hang your cell phone around your neck. At least you can’t leave your head behind. Love, Dad”

Cory won’t be with us to see them off. He has work again. I think my mother is slightly relieved. Cory won’t be there to see her cry. I love airports. The people rushing by. The air of possibility. The atmosphere seem tinged with the auras of exotic places brought back by American tourists with their loud tee-shirts and white tennis shoes. People run and hug each other in welcome. And people say goodbye. I wonder if I will love airports so much after this. I wonder if I will cry when they go. I cried a lot as a child over the silliest things and mom once took me by the arm and told me to stop crying. She shook me once. Hard. I am never to cry in public. Since then, I never have. I wonder if I will cry at the airport. I wonder if my mother would mind.

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Lakena Chea permalink
    July 1, 2010 11:15 pm

    Jesslyn this blog post almost made me cry!! My parents went to Cambodia for the first time without me back in Feb for a whole month and I cried almost every night they were gone. I too, have my new cozy family of two, we have our own home and hopefully next year will start our own family unit..but my parents have been here with me forever and in a naive way, I still think of them as “forever” But the older I get..and they older they get..I am closer to reality. Closer to the reality that one day, I will be here on this earth without them and just the thought can nearly bring me to tears. Last Feb was just a test run, I did ok, but the ache I felt in my gut was very real. Cherish the time left you have with your parents and hopefully you will still talk to them regularly and visit as well, because the clock is ticking on all of us. Maybe Cory would love a trip to the Mother County one of these days 🙂

  2. July 1, 2010 11:21 pm

    I can’t imagine how hard this would be…although I don’t have a great relationship with my parents…I wouldn’t want them to be a million miles away.

    I’d cry…it’s ok.

  3. July 2, 2010 4:49 am

    Oh Lordie…my thoughts are with you today. I couldn’t stop crying when I hugged my mom goodbye the day we moved out of Phoenix. It’s the not knowing that kills me..like …when will I see them again?

    At our wedding, a few days before our move, I only cried when I danced with my dad. Like – REALLY cried… because of moving away from him and my mom.

    Who cares about the tears? Bring a hanky and big ass sunglasses.

    • July 2, 2010 7:15 am

      I second this- big ass sunglasses are ALWAYS good.

  4. July 2, 2010 7:15 am

    As wonderful as it is to make a new family with someone we fall in love with… it’s hard to understand the balance and the role we have with the family who helped shape us.

    As much as I dream of moving to LA or NYC, I don’t think I could ever leave MD. My family is like a vital organ- if I lose it, I’m as good as dead.

    I think much of that is our culture. Filipinos never leave home. Grandparents, parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. all live together and share a home. They lean on each other and they live for each other.

    But Jesselyn, you know (and we all know) that no matter how far we are from those we love, they never really leave us.

    p.s. We are big fans of Skype!

  5. July 2, 2010 11:41 am

    Awwww… I can’t believe them leaving has come so quick! As a person who has no problem crying espacially after superbaby m has gotten here ( I cried leaving her for the night with MY PARENTS!!!) I think it is most def ok to cry!!! Skype will become your best friend and you need to get a credit card/debit card that you can earn miles to fly with! Tell your mom and dad bye for me and give little j a hug for me!!! 🙂 You need anything call!!!

  6. July 2, 2010 12:44 pm

    Oh man. I cry when I leave my mom’s house every time and it’s only a 6 hour drive away (and as evidenced by my blog, she drives me absolutely nutty). I would be an absolute mess if I was in your position.

    However, sometimes doing the best to hold back the tears makes the other person feel better about leaving.

  7. July 8, 2010 11:35 am

    OMG, this made me so sad!!! 😦

  8. bluebutterfly10 permalink
    July 14, 2010 6:46 am

    Boy that’s tough! I may be having to deal with this soon…my parents are separating and my father says he may soon return to Peru and set up his new life there…he thinks at this point he needs to separate himself from us and that when we are ready we can seek him out, but he doesn’t think (at this point) then once he returns that he will make a return to the states.

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