Friday, 01/16/04 - 10:17 am.
I already said goodbye to my brother (Renan) and his wife (Denise). They went to a three-day retreat, so I had to say goodbye to them this morning. It was less emotional than if it'd have been at the airport, and that's good, I'd hate to break down in front of them. I'm just a little sorry they always end up like embarrased or something. My brother said "sorry I didn't take you out anywhere", or like last night "I'm sorry, these are your last days around and we go off". That's ok, I'm glad they're taking a break from the world, their everyday life is very tough, is awful. Besides, we did go out, Austin, San Antonio and other places. It was nice just to see him, even if it was only for a couple of minutes every night.
Last night Denise and I went to the supermarket, because we'd run our of milk. That sounds like a 5 minute trip, but we ended up staying for an hour, buying a whole lot more. I was the one behind the (cart)wheel, and she said it's nice having somebody else doing it for you, it makes you go faster. "And it'd have taken me more if you hadn't been with me"...being useful is good for my ego. By the way, I saw a couple of magazines, one said Saddam won the US lottery and the other one said that, according to recently discovered gospels, the end was near, because Jesus Christ had appeared in front of the US troops.
After coming back from the supermarket, we made dinner, we had ribs. My brother Alan cooked them, he's become a proffesional at the barbeque. And for dessert, we had amish bread. Right then, Denise said she'd just remembered another thing she was going to the supermarket for, my birthday cake. It's not my birthday yet, but last night was going to be the last time we all had dinner together (my brother, his wife, their boy and girl, my other brother, my nephew and I). It was an excellent meal, I tell you, the ribs and the amish cinnamon bread. The amish bread was great, I can't believe something that good came out of some rancid dough (smelled like that).
We stayed up all night watching TV (except for the kids). The best thing, and sadly I discovered it just a few days ago, is the show "blind date". I was laughing so hard I was choking, and so were my brothers. I thought I was going to explode, my stomach was hurting but I couldn't stop laughing. Dear God! What a hilarious show! Thanks to that, I didn't cry when I hugged my brother goodbye. We were actually still laughing about it, and that made the goodbye atmosphere less emotional.
Before Denise left today, she gave me $30 for my birthday. "I'm sorry it doesn't have a card or anything". So sweet of them, they shouldn't have (now that they did, though, I have a few things in mind). I'm going to miss them. I'm hoping I'll see them again this year. I actually prefer coming to visit than having them go visit us, because if they go, they have to split all their time among the relatives of both families (my brother's and Denise's), and that's quite a lot. When I come here, it's just me and them.
I'm so sad, I'm starting to feel like crying. I'm not even nostalgic. Honestly, I have not really thought about home during the month I've been here. This feels like home, too. But here I am a big help, and I hate to leave, specially now, when their routine is starting to ger heavier and more stressful for everybody.
It was hard, last night, when Denise and Alan were making an schedule for the weekend. "On sunday you have to do this, and this and this...but what are you going to do about that?", and I wanted to say: ""I could do this and this about that", but then I realized I wasn't going to be here anymore. "Can you pick up Rebeca this afternoon?", now who's going to do it, if they're all work? How will the resolve that (I know, that's their usual life, how to be at two places at the same time...it's just that isn't nice when you don't have to be in that situation?)? I can't put it into words, it's like I'm going to miss out something. Anything. Everything. They need help, and I like to help them.
Back home it's going to be a boring routine, there's nothing to do and I feel like such a waste. Here I can stay away from the computer and use it once a day, and I don't need to stay in touch with anybody. Here...even if I'm not doing something "big", I'm helping them, and you should see how relieved they are when they come home at night and discover that there's something done, something they have not had the time to do it themselves (usual line from my brother or his wife is: "we've planned to do that for months", or "I said I'd do it when I had the time, but that was three weeks ago"). I don't want to leave the kids, they need me, too (in the big scheme of the universe I'm not important, I know, but they're always asking me for help with their homeworks, I try to keep them from taking out all their day's frustrations into their parents, I teach them stuff...).