Monday, February 20, 2017

A Reason For Tears

"Crying is cleansing. There's a reason for tears, happiness or sadness." -Dionne Warwick

^ Last November, after three and a half years of living and teaching English in Vietnam, 
my daughter flew away from that life and headed back to the USA for a break. 
Along the way, she stopped to visit her new home-away-from-home, Seoul

"You don't have to cry, Mom."

I took my third-born to the airport today.
She flew away to Seoul, South Korea, where she has signed a year-long contract to teach English.
She already has some friends in Seoul - a nice family she knows from Vietnam, an American family friend, a pair of Korean twenty-somethings she met on an airplane, just to name a few. 
She will certainly make more.

^ In Seoul, she saw a few of the sights, including Gwanghwamun gate, 
and got to know her way around the city a bit. 

"You don't have to cry, Mom."

Her brand new suitcases were packed with almost everything she owns, and labeled with the address of her new school.
Her freshly laundered baby blanket was safely strapped into her carry-on.
Her bags weighed more than she does.

^ South Korea is a land of four seasons, and experiencing cold again 
will be a major part of the adjustment. 

"You don't have to cry, Mom."

Seoul seems much closer to home than Vietnam. 
Seoul has Starbucks and subways and reliable postal service. 
Seoul is a direct flight from Seattle and I can fly there for just a few hundred dollars more than a ticket back to my mom's house. 

^ This is David. My daughter taught him English for several years in Danang; 
now they have all relocated to Seoul and their friendship carries on. 

"You don't have to cry, Mom."

But when I say goodbye to her
Her half smile makes her look just like her baby self
She rubs her thumb on her lip just as she did when she was learning to drive

I realize that life is flashing by far faster than any of us can comprehend.

And that is the moment when I do indeed have to cry. 


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