I dream of hugging my Daddy again, and chatting with my mom for an hour after breakfast. I can't wait to experience winter and spring with my children, and to go for long quiet walks in the park.
I want to order pizza and have it delivered to my door when I don't feel like cooking. I want a break from ticks and cockroaches and mosquitoes. I want to be able to drive a car without that tense feeling in my stomach.
I long to sing in the churches that are full of my history and to ride bikes with my children on the same street where I used to ride bikes. I want kitchen drawers that don't have to be yanked open so hard that I fall backwards and I want to celebrate Independence Day and Thanksgiving and Memorial Day in the right country.
I will miss how the Indian Ocean sparkles when I walk to school. I will miss the dirt on my feet that represents the grit and the sweat and the earthiness of a life that has not been paved over. I will miss the way my children are entertained by so little and the frozen juice boxes they beg for almost every day after school. I will miss being Mrs. Medina to hundreds of children who I have watched grow.
I don't know how I will live a year without my soul sisters, who are knit together in my heart and have held me up through the sweat and the dust. Here, I am understood. I am losing all of my work, all of my jobs and tasks and my identity, and even my roles of wife and mom are going to change completely as I take on new work, new routines.
And I don't know who I will be, because Africa and HOPAC have been my life for 10 years.
The emotions of excitement and anticipation and loss and stress and grief and transition and change all clash together in my heart.
Too much feeling; just too much.
My brain is tired, and often I just go numb.
But I know it has an end, and I know from experience that when I get on the plane, everything is okay. Because I have been at this place before, and that makes it easier.
And He is there, and I am His.
He will never leave me, even to the ends of the earth.