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Chủ Nhật, 3 tháng 4, 2011

My dear Van,
    Thank you for sharing that beautiful story with me.  you have a wonderful way with words and creating mind pictures.
    I felt I was curled up beside you listening to what your thoughts were saying. You are so right--love comes softly and often is there when we least expected it.
    I am thankful you have been part of my life for four years. I admired you so much the first time I met you, so young, so far away from home yet independent as well.
    You once asked me what was the philosophy of Christianity.  I can't remember what I told you but for me , it is knowing that my sins are forgiven because the very Son of God died in my place.  It is knowing He walks beside me every day--in the good times and the scary times of lung cancer.  It is knowing He is the best friend I could ever find.  It is meeting with Him every morning in prayer and bible study. I want to know Him here as well  as in eternity . 
I pray for you and all the dear friends who come to this home. I want you to know the peace He gives me.
    I love you,Van, and pray for God's very best for you always.
Big hugs
Janice

Tears came to my eyes as I read this email from Janice. Tomorrow will be the last week of my student life, and my last month in Canada. I don’t know whether Im sad or happy, nor do I know what Im supposed to feel. Too much emotions fuse into each other, forming a ball of indistinguishable feelings, bumping up and down inside of me, reaching out to each and every corner of my being.
Once upon a time, when I was still struggling with homesickness, loneliness and the complicated conversation with myself about myself, I came across a line in an Arthur’s article (Trent student-run newspaper) which read: “I am leaving home for home”. The line struck me as something quite alien, as I couldn’t conceive of myself feeling that way. But at this very moment, that line comes back and brings with it a new sympathy and understanding I never know before.
If home is defined as an open door which welcomes you no matter how long you have gone away, who you have become, what you have done, I guess I have found a second home in my friends in Peterborough. I just know they will always take me in and take care of me the best they can, like family would do for you. For my four years at Trent, I’ve never had a great student life. I didn’t have a romantic love story with a white guy to tell, nor have I acquired a large number of friends from all over the world. I didn’t participate in many activities, and people can tell, still, that Im a shy person. But I have built meaningful friendship with a few people, and now I think it’s enough.
I have enough to know that I’ll be welcomed if I ever want to return.
I guess we will find what we look for, in school and in life as well. I’ve found what I had hoped for, i.e. enduring bonds with those who cherish me for what I already have. I didn’t look for an exciting life with many encounters. I didn’t yearn for freedom like many other students who see student time as a chance to break away from parents’ supervision. Of course I have changed, but not in a fundamental way. My motivation and purpose for this long trip stay the same. It is to know myself, because I want to put myself in the extreme and see where the limit is. I can’t say for sure how much more I have discovered about a thing called “self”, but I found out that many principles I made up for myself as I grow up prove to be true, and I still follow them now and into the future.
We find what we look for, or at least, prepare for, or qualify for.
And now, I want to put it this way. Not "Im leaving Canada for Vietnam", but "Im leaving home for home", because there are people here who will miss me and care about me a lot. 4 years is not too long, but long enough for love to grow.
I will try not to cry when this land disappears behind the white clouds, like I did when I left Hanoi 4 years ago. I did not cry, because I was so numb and reality was too strange for me to grasp, but then I could not stop crying for a month or so. This time, I don't know how I'll be. But I know one thing: It's not goodbye, or is it?

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