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Mt. Shasta, from I-5 as we drove north to Oregon, April 2017

Monday, April 8, 2013

A Mother's Mixed Emotions

I'm having very mixed emotions this week.  

Our son, Gil, is coming home for a few days before he leaves for
Thailand to take a training course for teaching English as a second language. He is then guaranteed placement for the several months of teaching he needs to do to get certification. While teaching, he will get a small salary and housing allowance, but it is not a permanent position. After that he hopes to find a position either there, in Indonesia, or some other country.

Most people who do this are fresh out of college and looking for adventure before settling down back in the States. He is not. At 42, he is at the top age limit for the program. Although he is looking for adventure, he is also looking for a fresh start in life. He does not want to come back and settle down here, rather he would like to find a new life there.

He has been to Indonesia twice before. As a high school student he did a year as an exchange student, and went again as a college student. Both times he went as a somewhat rich young American with money in his pocket, supporting organizations, and a life to return to.

This time, he has limited means and has gotten rid of all of his possessions. He has given me enough to buy his return ticket and provide a little cash to start again if he comes back, but that is only because he has to show he has the means to leave Indonesia if he wants a visa to go there. Although both of our names are on an account, I am holding it for him. We have an agreement that he cannot have it unless he needs it to come back.

My mixed emotions are that I'm happy for him because he is giving this dream a shot. I want him to be very successful in this adventure. But if he is, I may not see him again for years and that makes me sad. But except for a few summers, we have not lived in the same city since he left for college 24 years ago. Our visits have been infrequent, although I always knew that he could get on a plane and be home in a few hours.  

At least with Skype, blogs, email, and Facebook we will be able to stay in touch. And if he is successful and makes a new life, we might just take a trip there for a visit. 

I guess I have to remember Evelyn's ending line on her blog:


"Don't wish on a star - Reach for one."

Good luck Gil,
 if you catch a star, hold on tight.

16 comments:

  1. Oh Merikay, this story is poignant for every mother. I wish him luck, and you, too.

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  2. Well, the worse that could happen (I think) is that he tried and it didn't work out...better than not trying at all and always wondering. Try not to project too far in the future...in this economy you need to do what ever you need to do. I kind of remember you dreaming a little..and look what has happened..xo

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  3. Well that made my eyes leak a little. My mothers heart goes out to you. I wish him the best, I agree, so glad we are int he electronic age with cmputers, Skype etc..

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  4. Good luck for your son, but oh my gosh this must be hard for you.

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  5. Your post also pulled at my heart strings. No matter how old our children get they are still our little ones. We so want them to be successful and happy but it's hard to let them do it. I think it's wonderful that he is willing to go for his dream.

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  6. It is great that he is following his dream. I'm going to be going through the same feelings when I leave South Padre next year and leave behind a new granddaughter. My daughter moved to Denver from Chicago back in 1999. If I was still in IL and she in CO, I would not be seeing the baby all the time and will try to remember this.

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  7. I wish you both well. I do admire those who follow their dreams and you son is doing that....what courage! You have been a good example for him I'm sure!

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  8. Made me have a knot in my stomach to read this knowing what you would be going through. Good luck to your son, I hope his dream happens for him.

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  9. I know exactly what you are going through. My youngest daughter was and is an ESL teacher. She went to Japan for 2 years. Then traveled around India on her own, taught in London, taught in Spain...ended up marrying a nice fella from Andora.I had not seen her for years. Wish now I had flown to some of those countries. She has now immigrated her husband to Canada and lives 1.5 hours from me. Hope to see her in May :) Kelly

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  10. know exactly what you are going through. My youngest daughter was and is an ESL teacher. She went to Japan for 2 years. Then traveled around India on her own, taught in London, taught in Spain...ended up marrying a nice fella from Andora.I had not seen her for years. Wish now I had flown to some of those countries. She has now immigrated her husband to Canada and lives 1.5 hours from me. Hope to see her in May :) Kelly

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  11. Maybe he is following in his parents footsteps and trying to follow his dreams. I guess you will just have to plan some overseas trips to see him. Just think how exciting that will be!

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  12. They will always be our babies no matter how old they get. I hope all works out well for your son and he finds fulfillment. The internet is a wonderful tool for keeping in touch. I'm glad my quote touched you as much as it touched me when I found it.

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  13. I totally understand what you are saying. A mother's heart is always torn in such situations. Your lives may be separate but your hearts will always be joined.

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  14. That's a brave son you have, and I admire him. I admire you, too, because when imagine my son growing up to do something like this, I want to scream. You're a brave Mom.

    Kris

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  15. Merikay,
    I understand the issues. I, too, have a son. Similar problems; similar concerns. Don't know what to do. Beyond the norms of my understanding. Beyond my experience.

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  16. I think we forget that no matter how old our children get they are still our children and being a mother never ends. I think what your feeling is natural, we always want the best for our children and I know personally I will always worry just a little. It is so hard to see them go and yet we want them to fly. Even though he's been on his own for sometime, I think its normal that those feelings are there for you. I hope for only good things to come his way.

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