My final days in the United States was everything I wanted it to be. I went to Virginia to spend some quality time with my father and my mother was to come down from New York a few days later so we can spend my last days together as a family. We didn’t see bears on unicycles and take fire-breathing lessons, but I absolutely loved every single second with them. Honestly, I don’t remember the last time my parents spent an extended period of time together aside from Christmas during my freshman year. Keep in mind, I’m a first-semester senior.
For one, I’m sure everyone reading my blog has experienced or heard of Winter Storm Jonas. Yeah, I was right in the middle of it. Driving up from Chapel Hill, North Carolina to Woodbridge, Virginia, my dad and I experienced heavy snow but it started to calm down once we hit the DMV area. A few days later, we were on Blizzard Watch. Next thing you know, Blizzard Warning. For those of you who don’t know the difference, “watch” is like a prediction, as opposed to “warning,” which means its coming. Thirty inches of snow hit us like that imaginary wall people hit when they’re totally stoned. My parents and I were snowed in up until the day before I left, but I’m actually really glad. We spent our days indoors watching old movies (my dad didn’t have cable in his living room), talking trash about anything and everything, cracking jokes and devouring snack foods like we’ve never eaten before.
My favourite part of it all was playing the Wii. The Wii is my favourite part of visiting my father’s house because it’s so much fun and I don’t have a game console of my own. I’m also pretty damn competitive. My dad and I always play Super Smash Bros. Brawl (and, of course I always win), but he didn’t have three controllers so that all of us can play. Instead, we played endless rounds of Jeopardy where two people would play and one of us would play the winner. Wii Boxing was probably my favourite game because I absolutely kicked ass in that game and it gave me a complete work out from just three rounds.
The day before I left, my mom and I went to the mall to spend some one-on-one time engaging in our mutually favourite past time – shopping. I got my nails and feet painted, but can you believe it costs $45 in Potomac Mills?! Talk about robbery. We also went to my favourite store in the entire world -Forever 21 – where my mom bought me a brand new poncho for the airplane ride to use as a blanket. Bless her soul. Lastly, my mom and I realized that my father’s birthday is the 28th and I was leaving on the 26th. I already knew he was sad so my mom and I wanted to make a collaborative effort to put a smile on his face before I left. So rather than buying him one expensive gift, we bought him a homemade gift basket! We bought him a Nike wallet, Playboy VIP cologne, a wooden beer case and a card. Lastly, we got the cutest thing for my dad! A stuffed Chewbacca from Build-a-Bear. We named him Chewy and even got him the Chewbacca sound! He absolutely loved it and even said that he’s going to put in on his desk at work!
Later that night, we all agreed to go to an all-you-can-eat buffet so everyone can get what they want. It was a good opportunity to sit, eat, and talk about everything that’s been going on in our personal and professional lives. It really gave us a chance to just sit down and relax before I had to leave them the next day.
10:00 am – My flight leaves at 7:15 p.m. and my parents want me at the airport by 5:00 p.m.. That leaves me 7 hours to spend time with them before I leave. Naturally, we stayed glued to our television and played Wii Nintendo Land and Super Smash Bros. all morning. Typical. When we left the house, we got doughnuts and a sandwich for my plane ride. Everyone knows I like to eat so why not be prepared for the plane ride. In addition to that, my dad bought me some Chick-Fil-A. I can get McDonald’s from anywhere, but Chick-Fil-A would be out of my reach for a good six months, so I needed my Spicy Deluxe Sandwich before I left.
4:00 pm – 5:00 pm – My dad said his final goodbyes to me at the “Kiss-and-Ride” at Baltimore Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport. It was pretty quick simple with minimal pain, kind of like ripping off a bandage on a semi-healed gash. No tears, no nothing, just a quick hug goodbye. My mom, however, was a lot harder to let go of. I hate seeing her cry so I wanted this to be nice and short. We ate our food in the terminal outside of the check-in area and I tried not to make too much eye-contact because I knew she was sad. I can handle seeing anyone else cry, but not my parents. I wasn’t trying to cry before I left so I just kept my head down and remained quiet.
7:00 pm – I had just finished saying goodbye to all of my friends and family from Spelman, Morehouse, and back home in New York. Calling, texting, FaceTime and all of that good stuff. It really warmed my heart when my friends told me they loved me and my family told me they were proud of me. Sitting in the airport and watching the clock tick away until my boarding time at 7:15 pm made me realize that this was really happening. The United Kingdom for six months.
When my boarding time came around, I was on the phone with my best friend Tayhlor and she told me that if I ever needed anything to just give her a call. It made me feel like I was loved and supported by not only her, but all of my friends and family who nourished me with blessings, praise and positive energy prior to my departure. As I hung up the phone and made my way to Seat 19D on British Airways, I said my final goodbyes to Baltimore, the DMV area and America as a whole. As Michael Jackson sang, “This is it!”. I bid thee farewell, America. Until we meet again.