Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Adventure

I'm back from my anti-personality adventure. It was a roller-coaster. I am completely in awe of my sister for handling it so well. It was three days of excitement, fear, tears, decisions, tears, and disappointments. And tears. I'm almost able to say that my trip was "good" when people ask me how it went.

I arrived on Saturday, picked up the rental car, and drove home. On the way, I lightened my purse and my soul by handing an apple to a homeless man on the freeway off ramp. I arrived home to be greeted by my mom, dad, and sister. Somewhat frenzied piling, packing, and planning ensued. We packed the car with most of her stuff and fell into bed.

Sunday morning we left only fifteen minutes later than we had intended with a car full of my sister's life and snacks for the road. The drive was beautiful and relatively uneventful. My sister took lots of pictures along the way. We bonded and gabbed. I felt free and daring and strong. The familiar landscape became unfamiliar.

We arrived safely and checked into our hotel. We visited a prospective room for rent. We decided it wouldn't work. We made a list of more places to visit the next day. We made peanut butter and banana sandwiches for dinner. We slept.

I took her to her first day of work on Monday and returned to the hotel to do more research on rooms for rent. By the time I picked her up in the afternoon, we had a solid list. We went straight to the best looking one and were pleasantly surprised. This was absolutely the one. We let the owner think about it and left to find dinner. The owner called and said it was a yes. We cheered. We called all of the other ones and said "no thanks". We called the owner to see what time we should bring my sister's belongings over. No answer. No return call. No nothing.

It became 8:30 pm. We had no idea what had gone wrong. We had to make a decision. We had to put my sister's stuff somewhere. We put everything back in the car. We drove to the owner's home. It was dark. No one was home. We tried not to cry. We got back in the car. She called a co-worker (whom she had just met that day) and asked if we could put her stuff in their apartment for a week or so. They said yes. We drove to their apartment. We were almost done emptying the car when the owner called. Something awful had happened and she had to delay renting her room for two weeks. At least. We finished emptying the car.

We drove back to the hotel, struck. Now what? We had done everything right. Where would she sleep tomorrow? How would she find somewhere to live without transportation? How long would she be without her stuff? How could I possibly leave her alone the next morning?

We cried. We called our parents. We hugged. We strategized. She could walk to work the next morning. She could throw herself on the mercy of her co-workers. She could couch-surf. She would be fine.

When I got up the next morning to leave for the airport, I was a mess. All night I had dreamed about rooms for rent, phone calls, homeless people. I got dressed and packed my bag. I went to the bed to say goodbye to my sister and I burst into tears. How could I leave her? We had become so close that I felt like I was leaving part of myself. It felt like the hardest thing I had ever done.

She was so strong. She hugged me and said it would be okay. She didn't ask me to stay. I left. I cried in the car. I made it to the airport. I called my mom to check in and I cried some more. I talked to Donald on the phone and cried then too. Then I ate a bagel and texted my sister. She was up and already researching more places to live and sounded positive. I got on the plane and came home.

She texted me last night and said that she had found a good place to sleep for the night and had at least two room options that seemed good. She was fine, maybe more than fine. I tried not to cry with relief.

This trip changed my life. I flew by the seat of my pants for three days and I survived. I had fun! I bonded with my sister in a way I never had before. I will never see her the same way again. I challenged myself to do something new and unknown and it all worked out. I feel strong enough to try it again. I have an increased faith in things working out eventually. I conceded to recognizing that I had a positive role on the situation, even though I don't feel that my objective was met.

I decided that Donald and I must have more than one child because siblings are too wonderful to live life without.


  1. Daphne,
    This is such a wonderful post for so many reasons. First, because of the way you write and tell the story. But mostly because of this wonderful thing you did, to be there for your sister and help her the way you did. She was able to be strong because you were there for her. It would have been so hard for her on her own. You two will always have those memories together, and you gave her a wonderful start on her adventure-even though it was bumpy! Keep us posted on how she is doing!

  2. Kim, thank you so much for commenting! I'm still flattered that you like my writing - I definitely admire yours. Now that I have recovered from the stress of the trip, I can see that going on that trip definitely changed me. I'm excited to see what I do next!

    I am also happy to announce that my sister found a great room, has friendly roommates, and seems ready to transition to a focus on her job now that she has a roof over her head. I'm excited to see what she does next too!

  3. That's so sweet... My gosh, and how is your sister doing now? Enquiring minds!

  4. Megan - She is doing really well, still, enjoying what she's doing and learning a lot. Thanks so much for asking and for commenting!


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