With only four days here at home before we depart for Atlanta, Mom and I (okay.. I) decided to make the outing a last time out together for the two of us. We enjoyed lunch at Red Bowl and then I relaxed while the nice pedicure lady rubbed my feet. If I didn't have a million to-do's floating around in my head, I might have really been able to relax. I did the best I could, all things considered.
Before I continue, I have to let you in on what happened while trying to find the spa. I knew the place was located right in the same shopping center as Red Bowl. I didn't realize there were two nail places. So, we walked into the first one and were blasted by the smell of chemicals. Mom said the gift giver had mentioned how serene the spa was so it didn't exactly seem like the right place. However, I saw a little sign that said, "Gift Certificates Available" and thought it must be here. So, the non-American guy (read: Vietnamese) comes from across the salon saying, "sit down, I take you now." I proceeded to attempt explaining my certificate and appointment and the guy was just insisting, "I take you now." After fumbling through the purse for the envelope, I opened it and looked at the name on the certificate. Then I looked at the name of the place we were in. Wrong place. Now holding my gift certificate for the other nail spa, the guy looked completely deflated. That might be an understatement. He was still insisting he could "do for me." I was thinking, "No, you can't do for me and you won't take me now because my gift certificate isn't even for your place!" It was so awkward because he wouldn't give me the certificate back. He just kept staring at it, I guess trying to figure out how to make me stay regardless. Finally I reached for it and said, "can I have that back now?" And we walked out. A couple doors down, we found the right place. Very serene. Beautiful music. No chemical smell punching you in the face. And then we laughed, hard, about that poor man's disappointment.
The spa people were really interested in our giant move and we talked about that the entire time. That's what we talk about everywhere we go. No one can really believe that we are moving to Africa. I want to say, "yeah, me neither." And most people's follow up question is, "how old are you?" When I reply with 22, they typically say I don't look older than 16. Then I try to hide my irritation by saying, "yeah, people say that often. I guess I'll appreciate it when I'm 40."
Now my toes are ready for the southern hemisphere.... flip flops!
Really, it was just nice to spend a couple hours alone with my sweet mama. The world knows that my mom and I are tight as ticks and I am going to miss her terribly. Sometimes I wonder why I am so crazy to sign up for this lifestyle since it is going to take me so far from home. But, yesterday, as I was getting ready and fighting back tears I was thinking about Christ. And I thought about how he left his home in heaven, and a Father who loves him more perfectly than I can even imagine, to come to this miserable place we call home. I thought about how much he must have longed for home. Being from America, I tend to like the way things are here. I enjoy the luxuries we have here which much of the rest of the world doesn't offer. And I can't help but wonder at times why I'm leaving what is familiar and comfortable for what is completely unknown and much less luxurious. This is not to sound like I am likening myself to Christ, by any means. But, it helped me get out of my miserable sadness and think that, if Christ would leave what is better than I can even imagine for a life here to save me, how can I complain (even inwardly) about leaving what I know for His sake? I don't want to leave. These goodbyes are gut wrenching. Living these last days feels surreal and my heart aches. But, the sacrifice is immeasurable compared to that of my Savior.
I'm gonna miss my mama. If I'm being honest, I'll miss her more than anyone. I can't imagine life when I can't get ahold of her easily and ask her the questions I don't know how to handle. For today, however, I am thankful that I've spent two wonderful years as her neighbor and 22 as her daughter.