“She’s going to be ok, right?”

As my mom asked me in a soft voice, I realized just how worried she was about my little sister and how much she had been holding in.  We were eating dinner together and had never really talked about her leaving for Japan before.  I guess it just crept up on all of us.  Bryce and I, on the other hand, have spoken a lot about this.  I told him how good this would be for her, but at the same time I was worried that she’d arrive there safely, find her way around Japan, and that she would be able to fully enjoy her trip abroad.  But I simply answered her with this (and making sure I sounded sure of myself):

“She’ll be fine.  She can do it.”

Because I know she was seeking reassurance from me.  And I know she needed it.

The last night with Randi was spent really low key.  We had dinner together after visiting my dad and helped her finish up her packing.  My mom hovered over her with a vengeance because that was her way of coping.  I inherited her constant need to worry, but she internalizes more than I do so I can pretty much understand how she operates.  Randi was getting frustrated so I had to remind her to just brush it off because that’s her way of dealing with things.  At one point my mom had to go in her room because she started to cry.  I sent Randi in there to console her because I didn’t want either of them to spend that last night like that.  It all worked out, but I’m sure it’ll take some time to adjust to life without her.

It all hit me when I drove to work and realized how odd it would be not to see her at dinner.  She’s a big pain most of the time and I give her a hard time about it, but she’s still my little sister.

The funny part was that as I hugged her goodbye, I found myself reassuring her also.

“You’re going to do great.  Learn a lot, but have some fun.”

I got an email from her this morning saying how she’s already so homesick, but she feels guilty for that because she’s been wanting this for so long that it doesn’t feel right.  All I can do at this point is keep reassuring her that she’ll be fine.  It’s so new for her to be on her own.

We’re going to be fine.  She’s just the first to “leave” home and she’s the baby.  But I’m proud of my mom for handling it so well!  And I’m proud of her for following through with studying abroad.  I wish I had done it when I was getting my undergrad degree.

She’s thinking of starting a blog to document her journey, so I’ll be sure to let you all know about it if and when she creates one!

Taken on her last morning.