Saturday, May 24, 2008

Leaving For The First Time

“I’ll be home before you know it.” She whispered. “What’s life for if not to take risks?”

Franci left on Sunday, July 8, 2007. For three weeks she would be on her own, with no family to protect her. Her destination: Europe. She would climb the Eiffel Tower in Paris, take a gondola ride in Italy, and taste the chocolates of Switzerland. Franci was ready.

Her journey began at Exit 41. From there she would make her way towards the airport with her tour group. Our family met her at the Exit. Both of our brothers rushed up to hug her. Mauri, being the fastest, reached her first. He wrapped his arms around her and wouldn’t let go. He had always been by her side. When Mauri let go, Emerson quickly latched onto her. Franci looked my way and smiled softly.

Franci and I walked with our family to the van. She bent down, looked me in the eye, and said, “I’ll be home before you know it. What’s life for if not to take risks?” And after that, she boarded the van. Tears welled up in my eyes as I saw my sister wave goodbye. But not out of misery, out of joy. She was doing the right thing. I can still hear those same words in my head. “I’ll be home before you know it.”

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