I and Andrzej are finally adults now. Adults in the years of having America as our home.
It is still hard to believe that I was barely 23 year old when I set my foot for the first time here and not knowing that it will be our permanent home, as it seems.
Those 18 years ago we were still flying at this hour...
As of evening the 16th, we packed our all possessions in two suitcases and two boxes. We took train from our hometown, Skawina ( right at the foot of beautiful Krakow ), to Warszawa. From there we flew to Helsinki, Finland. That was my first airplane flight ever, and I can't believe that it went smoothly. From Helsinki we flew to NYC. I did not realize at that time, that the plane was very old and looking suspicious. Andrzej told me later that he had some doubts that we will end up in NYC. But we did:)
After going through the passport and visa clearance, we recovered all of our belongings and moved to a plane going to Dallas, Texas. On the Dallas airport for the first time in my life I have experience such a tremendous tiredness, that I thought I will fall asleep while standing. It was very overwhelming feeling! Once we got on the plane to Austin, we barely sat in our seats...and then it was time to leave the airplane; at midnight. I think we have traveled at this moment for 36 hours straight!
I wasn't this tired to noticed that it was very hot at midnight in Texas, but way too sleepy to pay too much attention. It came later. But don't think I will write about it. Maybe one day...
So here we are, this time in Rhode Island for the last twelve years.
Would I change anything about the decision that we made those many years ago? It is hard to tell.
Yes, we were looking for better opportunities for Andrzej to develop his talents. We were looking for better life for our family. I also wanted to learn the language, and meet different culture.
I remember that I wanted to be a traveler when I was young. Even though my dreams took me to Australia, settling in America was not a bad idea either. It was still in opinion of many, the country of flowing milk and honey:)
The worst part was to leave the people behind. The family, however difficult it might be; and all of the celebrations. Namedays, birthdays, weddings, christenings, first communions, and so on. The list is endless. How about friends ? The ones from elementary school and high school or collage. Yes, you can always make new ones but it is not the same. You did not grow up with them, took daily walks to school, laughed and cried, studied, complained, told secrets and plans for future. They were left behind too.
The country that we grew up, the beautiful landscape, the mountains...the Tatry? The gorgeous Tatry! We left our culture, our language, our people, the long, beautiful, although not always glorious, history. The country of Great John Paul II. The pope of our youth...
It is hard for me to judge myself, ourselves. But deep in my heart I believe that it was a right decision. Somehow maybe we made a difference not only in our and our children lives, but also in those who we met along our journey in this country. This I know for sure that I am very thankful for the new friendships that I was lucky enough to make, the new roads that I traveled on, and wonderful places that had a chance to visit!
Until next year:)