September 28, 2013

Last Year

This past week, my mom came for a visit.

She hasn't flown in about 15 years -- not since she crossed an ocean to visit me in England while I lived in a house with no heat. 

Thankfully, the temperatures here were warm enough for shorts most of the week -- and when they do finally drop (hopefully not soon) my apartment is well-equipped with heat. 

As I mentioned in my last post though, there has been a morning and evening chill in the air. It was the kind of chill that warranted wearing slippers while we sat on the porch drinking our beverage of choice, depending on the time of day. 

I loved that my mom managed to only take hand luggage on the plane with her and she still found room to bring her slippers. Apparently she's picked up a thing or two from me while watching me pack for trips throughout the years. (Always bring your own slippers. Always.) 

I made her those maroon slippers 'last year' right before Christmas. During my years working in Ukraine, my colleagues and I had a running joke about 'last year'. Every time an event didn't go as planned, or we experienced unexpected glitches, we'd say something like 'Well, LAST year we did this instead...' or 'LAST year so and so did it that way...'  

We were so goofy with our comparisons, but over the years, a lot DID change in the country. One thing was pretty consistent though -- we still wore slippers whenever we visited a Ukrainian home. 

I found myself thinking a lot about last year while my mom was here, because really, so much HAS changed. Last year the Sailor and I knew we'd be moving, but we didn't know where. Last year I became serious about writing a book. Last year, my brother was still alive. 

Last year seems like a lifetime ago and yet last year feels like yesterday. 

I felt a little funny dropping my mom off at the airport. So often, it has been my mom driving me to and from an airport and waving me off as I stumble through security. This time, I watched as she expertly made her way through security, as if she's flown more than me. 

Last year changed a lot. 

I am super proud of my mom for getting on a plane to come and see me only three months after we've moved. I'm also proud of her for keeping up with my whirlwind tourist tendencies this week (We did a lot. I mean A LOT. We may need another holiday to recover from our 'vacation'.) And I'm incredibly proud of how she has pushed through what was undeniably one of the hardest years of her life. Mother's Day looked a lot different for her this past year. 

One thing remains the same, though. She's the most amazing mom I know. Slippers and all.  

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