Front: Kim Wolfe, daughter; Steve Christensen, son-in-law. Middle: me; Matt Wolfe, son-in-law; Sam Christensen, grandson; Teri Christensen, daughter. Back: Mary, wife; Nicholas Shuraleff, III, son
While my intestines gurgle in the middle of the night reacquainting themselves with holiday foods, my mind tries to comprehend what is happening. Family and friends are eager to hear about far away people and places, to see how I may have changed, and place me momentarily in the limelight of a curiosity who has stepped outside the box. For these moments I am prepared with stories and tales. It is when the realization hits me that I miss them and they miss me that this Peace Corps adventure becomes more serious than I ever dreamed.
"Missing" means the loss of something important. "To be missed" means that you are of some importance to another. I can handle missing others. I am in control of this painful emotion, but I am at a loss of how to handle the compliment of being missed.
As my thoughts begin to return to Samoa, my brain is scrambled with conflicting signals. The puzzle pieces of wanting the challenge of an adventure, of missing others, and of being missed lay on the table. None seem to fit together. There is a part of me that wants to be missed, to be remembered, yet to be missed requires leaving those for whom you care. I can't help but be thankful for family and friends who miss me. Hopefully they are aware that I miss them too.