Day 7 : Down from the door, where it began

 The long journey begins.

The long journey begins.

This has been a favorite of mine for almost 13 years. I remember when I first read it, in my parents' backyard while sitting next to a fire, a few days before I would head to California and try and rescue my soon-to-be marriage. It has stuck with me ever since, and it seems appropriate yet again.

The Road goes ever on and on

Down from the door where it began.

Now far ahead the Road has gone,

And I must follow, if I can,

Pursuing it with eager feet,

Until it joins some larger way

Where many paths and errands meet.

And whither then? I cannot say.

- Bibo Baggins

 

 The road to the airport.

The road to the airport.

I've driven down this road many times, but never for the last time. This isn't my last time, but it is for Josey and the girls, and this morning, I'm viewing it through their eyes.

It's strange, watching something pass you by so quickly and knowing you will never see it again. It has been so much a part of your life, it has been home, then suddenly, it is gone forever.

How is it that something so important, so vital, can be gone so quickly? 

When I was in high school, Kevin Manno and I used to listen to a band called Showoff. I remember very little of them, but a line they sang in one of their songs has followed me for many years, "Not everything begins, but everything must end."

I'm not sure when Chengdu began to be called and seen as "home," but I know when it ends. For Josey and the girls, it is today. For Judah and I, very soon.

 Being dropped off at the airport.

Being dropped off at the airport.

Driver Bao.

In our first years, we hired him to drive us to Ikea for furniture. When we moved to Tongzilin and much closer to Ikea, we began hiring him to take us to our favorite camping spots. He isn't the only one we've ever hired, but he is our favorite. 

 

As much as he may argue and fuss with his mom and sisters, this little man has a hard time when they separate. Two weeks is a long time, even though it will seem like a few days. 

 

Our last glimpse.

And just like that, they are gone. Their home left behind. Mom and family will great them on the other end, with smiles, tears, and probably Chick-fil-a, but not home. Where that is and when it will come, I cannot say.

 

For more on . . .

Last Hundred Days

 

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