How do I freak out? Let me count the ways…

16 06 2008

It’s Monday, you say? You say I’m leaving Saturday? You say I’m supposed to bring my entire life in Brazil to a close in just these next four business days? 

I laugh in your face.

This is no easy task, my friends. Take today’s foray into the banking world where, I’m not even kidding, I watched the employee helping me try to staple six pieces of paper together for three minutes. His concentration on this task was palpable. I almost pointed and laughed out loud until I realized that was just not an acceptable reaction to the situation. So instead, I sat quietly and asked God to grant me the serenity to accept the things I could not change and for the self-restraint to keep from stapling the six papers myself to be done with it already.

This whole “patience” thing worked surprisingly well, too. It’s amazing what happens when you just chill out. I think I was channeling Dennis’s energy today because rather than freak out and slam things around and cry like I normally do, I sat calmly and helped my friend complete her grading sheets for her students’ report cards. And then I waited on the corner for the bus, walked home from the bus stop, and upon opening the door to my apartment, I began packing. Continued packing, I should say. I’ve dismantled my electronics and speakers from the living room, folded my last load of laundry and placed it in my bags, and I’ve even begun to pack my carry-on. I’m rather impressed with myself.

Tomorrow’s another big bureaucratic day: I’m getting fired. I’ve known about this for two years, and tomorrow’s the big day. Maybe I’ll even take pictures. And then I plan on coming home to do more packing and then go to dinner at my friend’s house. Wednesday I will formally end my relationship with my bank and continue harassing the telephone company about my final bill. Thursday’s the trip to Sao Paulo—one last Starbucks run!— and then Friday is my final exhale with, hopefully, a yoga class thrown in for good measure. Yikes. I’m. Running. Out. Of. Time. 

Tonight my last year’s kids are graduating from 8th grade, so in a few minutes I’m leaving to watch the ceremony. It’s all very exciting. I remember my 8th grade graduation. I wore a pink/orange/red flowered hippie dress (I’m from Vermont, give me a break) and Birkenstocks (again, Vermont) and I had done my hair up nicely. I was not wearing a down jacket with a fur trim like I will be wearing tonight. Did I mention it’s fa-reez-ing here? You wouldn’t believe it. I had big plans to look cute, but now I’m just going to look warm. 

So that’s it, folks. My plans for the coming days. Yikes. 

Did I mention I cried in the taxi on the way to school? I was thinking about the US Customs Officer saying “Welcome home” like they normally do. And if he doesn’t say it this time, I’m going to ask him if he will. That’s the best part of coming home. (But don’t tell Dennis I said that.)

 

Also, do me a favor and think some really good thoughts. Send them up to New Hampshire and make them settle over Dartmouth-Hitchcock medical center because my mom’s going in to begin her treatment Wednesday. 


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10 responses

16 06 2008
marissa

I have been reading your amazing Mother’s blog, Gina. I read and I think about the right words to say to convey the intensity with which I am sending my most healing and positive thoughts. I just can’t find the words. My grandfather, with whom I am very close, has been battling cancer ( see, I wont capitalize it either) for years. He fights like a champion. I watch in astonishment at his strength, his courage. He takes it in stride and I just think, that attitude, it is what keeps him going. Then I read what your Mom writes and I think, there it is…that same outlook. It will serve her well. She will stand up and fight with a venegance. And if my positive thoughts have anything to so with it, that *^%#@! cancer will cower when she takes it on.
Hugs to you both.

16 06 2008
ladybughugs

I’m sending prayers to Vermont for her healing and to Brazil for your safe (and sane) return.

16 06 2008
ginacoggio

Thanks to you both for those thoughts. Marissa, thanks too for all that strong imagery. I’m keeping that in mind.

16 06 2008
kilax

Serenity Now! Have you seen that Seinfeld episode? haha.

This is going to be a tough week… there are always so many things you want to do in the last days in a foreign country… but you also just want to relax and enjoy it as well. I hope you have happy days.

Hugs to you and your mom. Have a safe tip home.

17 06 2008
Susan

This time next week you’ll be sweating instead of freezing! Now that’s something to look forward to…
I don’t know what it is about when you hear the words “Welcome home” from the US Customs guy but there is something so profound in those two very simple words.
Praying for your mom and all of you!

17 06 2008
Susan

This time next week you’ll be sweating instead of freezing! Now that’s something to look forward to…
I don’t know what it is about when you hear the words “Welcome home” from the US Customs guy but there is something so profound in those two very simple words.
Praying for your mom and all of you!

17 06 2008
William

Best of luck on your move and safe travels.

17 06 2008
lynne cheslin

fly safe my friend and I’ll see you next on U.S. soil…..sending along loads of love and positive thoughts for your safe return and for Mom’s safe-being. With all the glorious people wishing and thinking only healthy and positive thoughts,Mom is indeed in good hands……to all you pumpkin heads out there, “think orange”…….

18 06 2008
ladybughugs

I was thinking about you last night. Thinking how you had a huge decision to make just a few months ago about the direction you’d go, whether it be to teach in another country, stay in Brazil, or return home to your choices here. How awesome is it that, without knowing, you chose to be where you’re supposed to be. You chose the path that will allow you to be there for your mom as she fights the battle before her. Divine intervention!

18 06 2008
gina coggio

It is all pretty crazy how it worked out, that’s for sure…

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