Choked up with Memories of Home – Here, Australia

I can`t believe today is the 6 month mark. In some times, it seems like forever ago that I was standing outside the house with my backpack on uttering tearful goodbyes to my family. I remember the last few days in Canada were so hectic trying to get all the last minute details looked after. I`ve always said that I worked best under pressure and this was my time to prove it.

I remember sitting up with Cortney, Stacy and Dennis at 1am the morning of writing out my will. How morbid! But it had to be done. Stacy sewed my sleep sheet for me while the others gave me last minute words of encouragement. The drive to Calgary was filled with a nervous excitement while T and I discussed trivial matters to try and distract from the onslaught of emotion we knew was imminent.

Thinking about the last night always brings a heavy feeling to my heart and I still get choked up. I got to see Sonya and finally meet her Andy (who is now her fiancee) when we met for goodbye drinks. That night, I tried to endure the brutal heatwave keeping a watchful eye on my little angels of nephews.

Trina and I were whispering last minute sentiments to each other when a knock at the door of the hostel room startled us. The receptionist asked if I was Carmella and said that a man had dropped this off for me as she handed me a shoebox. How strange to be getting gifts from anonymous people at 2am in a city that wasn`t even mine? I opened the box and it didn`t take long to figure out that the man was my sisters` husband, my big brother. Omari had driven 3 hours in the dead of night on one of the hottest days of the year to deliver a goodbye present without time for even a hug as he raced back to Edmonton making it just in time for work.

Trina and I sat in the corridor as we did when we were little girls alternating bouts of giggles with tearful hugs. Probably one of the hardest parts was at the airport saying no to my nephews when they suggested (very seriously, I might add) that I could stuff them in my pack and take them with me.

You know that feeling that you forgot something? Well, I had that as well but after half a year I still don`t know what it was. Maybe I won`t find out until I get home. But I suspect the only thing I have left behind are the people that I love so dearly. I am often asked if I am not homesick to which after thinking about it earnestly, the reply is always an incredulous no. Each time I check with myself I remember that no matter where I go, I carry home with me in my heart.

One of my goals for this trip was to learn to be where I am at. Right here. Right now. In this time. Because each moment is special. As I have said before, the present is the present and now is the gift. But I don`t forget to take time to remember what makes me who I am. Thank you to everyone who has touched me. My heart is rich with fingerprints of the exquisite souls I have encountered. And in some times, it feels like just yesterday that we parted ways.

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