Needless to say, when I arrived at 8am Wednesday morning, I was wiped out and quite sleepless (I am never good at sleeping on trains). Began work again on Thursday and half of Friday, prepared for the office’s intern BBQ, and left Kelli to once again (in a short amount of time) adjust to a new time zone. She graduated and headed out with her college age kids on a mission trip through UMCOR (United Methodist Church On Relief) to Kentucky. Then she packs up her things and moves out of her apartment to start her appointment to two small churches on the gulf coast. So, essentially, she is not yet allowed to breathe … while I enjoyed my weekend and started right back to work.
Then it was back to the airport to go once again back to Delhi. This time (Sunday) we stayed around and toured about. We got an early start so that we could go to a church that my sister’s Austin church supported. It is in the north part of Delhi and we were staying in the south. So after a rickshaw, metro, change lines to another metro, and walking around, we arrived … somewhere. I had gotten us lost. After an hour of wandering, we gave up and headed back to find a metro station to continue with our day, when lo and behold! There before our eyes was the landmark that we had been looking for. So an hour and a half after the service, we got to church – took pictures and left. We went to Delhi’s Red Fort and Jama Masjid (the largest mosque in India). Then utterly exhausted, we went back to our temporary home. The next morning, we got up at 4am to catch the morning train to Agra. Upon getting off the train, we were found by two of the interns at eMi2 (Ryan and Ryan) who came along to see Agra with us. First stop: the Taj.
This has been an intense couple of weeks. In short summary: at the end of April I went to LCH (the hospital close by) after being sick for several weeks with what turned out to be intestinal bacteria, and after two rounds of antibiotic am feeling better; had been preparing for my sister’s visit to India and our travels around (trains, planes, automobiles – literally); first Tuesday in May the fun began with me traveling down alone to Delhi to retrieve my sister; our travel back up to Mussoorie; our travel back down to Delhi; our flight to Chennai; meeting up with my sister’s seminary friend and his friends and touring Chennai; our flight back up to Delhi; us wandering around Delhi; our train to Agra; our train back to Delhi; my sister’s flight back to the states and my train and taxi back up to Mussoorie; and then finally, yesterday we had a bar-b-que hosted and prepared by us four interns. So today is finally Saturday and a day of rest. Thank God! What a great time it was, though.
Yesterday was also the first anniversary of my dad’s death. I had absolutely no idea how it would impact me. I don’t know, maybe like birthdays, anniversaries just do not mean much to me. Matt Pinkstaff (eMi2 staff) and I headed down for the last 9th grade girls’ Bible study at 6am. We talked about Luke 15 (the parable of the loving Father, lost son, prodigal son). The main point was that life only comes when we are in the Father’s presence and He is our treasure, what makes life worth anything. Then we came back up and had our daily office morning devotional and prayer time. And then a pretty standard day – until was began our food preparations for dinner. It started storming with crazy wind and nearly horizontal rain by the time we wanted to make our fire in the grill. So we would run outside to turn our chicken and potatoes and peppers and such, get very wet, and run back inside. Anyway, so no meltdowns, no hysterics, no weeping, no somber attitude.
I have been thinking about it often though for several months (and will most likely continue). I oscillate between convictions: my life is forever changed and I am not at all different. I guess both can be partially true. I feel that I am doing things that that I was in preparation to do (international missions, architecture, graduate school, involved in church), but I also know that I look at life differently. I admittedly am a planner (to the extent of going back in my calendar to fill in what has already happened), but now I have a difficult time understanding people who are not. If you want to do something, get it scheduled and do it … don’t leave it in “someday” land. I do not want to die with regrets about how I lived. There are many things that are now empty promises that can never be fulfilled between my dad and I. His ambiguous plans of “one day we will do that” hurt more than starting with no hope of doing them at all.