Going Away Party

We had so much fun at Cait’s open house/going away party on Sunday – we missed the friends and family who weren’t able to be there but we know you were there in spirit. We enjoyed some traditional Ethiopian food, laughs and…… maybe a few tears. We are excited for Caitlin to start this new chapter of her life and so proud of her courage to pick up and move so far from home to make a difference in one small part of the world.

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Box #1

So I started at UPS to mail the package and they said it would be $200! Holy Cow! I left UPS and went to the post office. It was still expensive, costing $71.00 to send a package that weighs 7 lbs. I think i will send a much lighter package next month 🙂

I also feel a little silly as the package is totally non-functional – who really needs to tie-dye t-shirts! Oh well, i will make the next package more functional.

Lighter and functional my goal for next package.

Why 27 boxes?

So I made my whole first post without even talking about one of the main points of this blog; the 27 boxes. It is now 18 days  before Caitlin leaves for the Peace Corps – and I am doing much better as far as the crying and sadness I shared in my first post. I know i will miss Caitlin but I am also very excited for her as she begins this adventure.

Today we packed up Box #1! At the beginning of each month I will be sending a care package. Caitlin will be in Ethiopia for 27 months- thus 27 boxes! I will send the box tomorrow and she should get it 2 or 3 weeks after she gets to Ethiopia. I believe the travel time is 4 to 6 weeks.

For this box I got input from one of my friends and we came up with the idea of sending a tie dye kit. We thought it might be a nice, American, activity for Caitlin to share with her host family or with the other PCVs.

Follow along, give ideas for the next box or provide a post to share a message for Caitlin.

26 boxes to go!

What? Why am I upset now?

So it is officially 53 days before Caitlin leaves for the Peace Corps but I am struggling with so many feelings of loss already. We just finished an awesome Thanksgiving weekend – with everyone together – and i am sitting here on Sunday evening writing my first post. I am embarrassed to admit, but I literally, have cried most of the day. My husband said, “Why are you crying? She’s not leaving for 2 months.” I know! Right?! I cant understand this overwhelming sadness I am feeling. I think I am wrapped up in the feeling of “lasts”; last Vacation (yes, cried at least 5 times on our way home from family vacation this summer, thinking about this); last Thanksgiving and soon to be last Christmas. But my good friend reminded me, I should not think of it as ‘lasts’ but just a ‘pause’. She will return (in two years) and in the mean-time she will be having the experience of a life-time and making a difference in the lives of other people.

I have great support from my family and friends and my daughters actually bought me a bouquet of yellow roses tonight to help me feel better.  I generally pride myself for my strength and independence but damn! I am not sure I was prepared for these circumstances. I cant even imagine how Mothers, throughout the ages, have sent their sons off to war. The grief and fear they must have faced would be unimaginable. I would not begin to compare my grief to that….but maybe it relates?

I have gone through all the actions of the holidays – I cleaned, and put up the Christmas decorations, activities that usually bring me joy, but it all seems so empty……and sad…..dang it and she hasn’t even left yet.

I know I need to get out of myself and focus more on the positives like, how proud I am to have raised a daughter that wants to help other people and that she is willing to give 2 years of her life to make a difference in the lives of others. I also know that this experience will be life changing and she will grow to better understand herself and where she should be in this world.

#shehasnotleftyet and #NewYorkCity