I’m back in Ohio now. My last week in Kosovo was filled with visits to friends houses. Several people invited me over for coffee. Of course coffee may include a light meal but always a hefty dessert.
I cleaned my apartment, packing those memories to bring home and dividing the spoils of my pantry among my friends staying there. It was a bittersweet moment as I closed the door Saturday morning and made my way to the taxi. My taxi driver, Faton, has driven me many places. His wife is my friend.
“You’ll come back,” he says. It isn’t a question.
“You never know what God has in mind,” I tell him. “But right now, it’s not in the plan.”
“You must come back,” he tells me.
I smile. I’ve heard this all week.
|I was surprised and oh so happy to see my family!|
My plane leaves for Vienna at seven in the morning as planned. I board another plane in Vienna to take me to New Jersey. It’s a long flight across the Atlantic. I measure it by the movies I watch and the routines of the flight. Three movies, one television show, a full meal, two snacks, and one nap later I’m in New Jersey. By seven o’clock in the evening I am in Cincinnati, making my way to baggage claim.
I expect my mother and youngest daughter will be there to greet me. My oldest daughter and her family are in South Carolina…a trip they made reservations for long before I made this decision to teach in Kosovo. My middle daughter and her family live in Wisconsin. It’s a long drive for a short visit. And I think my youngest daughter’s husband will be at home with two of my granddaughters getting them ready for bed.
I’m wrong. Well, mostly. My oldest and her family are certainly on vacation but the rest of the crew is standing with signs and balloons, hugs, and kisses. It is a warm homecoming.
|There is s true sense of piece to be |
on American soil. A true place of rest.
My mother is the first to wrap her arms around me. Then again, she has always been the first to wrap her arms around me and bring me home, if you think about it.
All I know for sure is there is a certain peace...a feeling of true rest to have my feet on American soil. It must be what my Albanian friends felt when they returned to Kosova after the war. It is a deep awareness of being in that place of comfort we call HOME.
Join me next week for my final Kosovo chapter…the Epilogue.