Friday, January 2, 2009

BITUSA- Looking Ahead

Phase II of our Peace Corps odyssey, being apart, is probably more difficult for my wife, Mary, than for me. Her compassion for others includes not only her renewed connections in Minneapolis, but those left behind in Samoa, those who entrusted me to deliver their sealed letters telling of their love for her and pleading for her return. She carries the burden of those voices.

As we talk about how to cope with this transitional part of our lives from wage earning parents to retired empty nesters, we see no clear path ahead, which combines in a “meaningful” activity the caring demeanor of Mary with my desire to get things done. One could say that returning to college to complete her degree, voluntarily teaching English to immigrant children in the Minneapolis schools, and being an empathic friend are all meaningful activities, and they are to an extent, but they don’t have the excitement of getting the Peace Corps’ acceptance letter and the anticipation of what lies ahead for the two of us. She must redefine her Minneapolis life while I continue in Samoa.

Countless others face the same transition as Mary and I, probably with the same unclear vision of the path or the definition of what is meaningful. Yet we all somehow can look backwards and see clearly the road we have been following and the consequences of our actions. We are not lost. Our actions are not meaningless. We, as Americans, are just incapable of trusting tomorrow to destiny, but that is our fate.

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