Posts Tagged ‘Europe’

Yesterday’s post about Tina’s birthday reminded me of one of the really sweet, at least in my opinion, things she has said.

Awhile back, while Tina was a junior college student, she went to England on a study abroad program with a large group from the school.  They took classes at Oxford University.  They had only three days of classes each week.  Friday’s were for field trips and on Mondays, most Mondays anyway, there were no classes.  That left a lot  of time for traveling around Europe.

In the three months she was there, she visited Ireland twice, Scotland, twice, Rome, Venice, Florence, Naples, Paris, Amsterdam, and I don’t know how many other places.  In fact when she was there was when Pope John Paul II died and her visit to Rome and Vatican City coincided with the period when there was no Pope.  If I remember correctly, the Papal Conclave reached consensus the day after Tina was in Vatican City.

Long distance to Europe is very expensive.  She had limited internet access because she had to go to cafés for that and that too was expensive.  I did get occasional emails either from her or from friends traveling with her that would relay the messages.  I spoke to her on the phone three times when she was there.  In fact, I called her within minutes of the announcement of the Pope’s death.  That’s how she heard it.  She was in Scotland visiting family friends and the word had not yet reached them, yet it had reached me in California!

When she returned, she said she had taken over 2500 pictures and she would go through them with me and we could talk about the trip because she had so much to tell me about.  She knew that I’ve always wanted to go to Europe but haven’t made it there.  (Now not so much.  I am somewhat resigned to the fact that I will probably not ever see Europe.)  That day, of sitting down to look at her pictures and have that talk, has never arrived.  I’ve caught little bits and pieces here and there but never have we sat down to look at the pictures and let her tell me about them.

One day, shortly after she returned, she said to me that one day she is going to take me to Venice which, to her, is the most beautiful city of all the places she visited.  Then she went on to say that while there, she had seen a palace that she wanted to take me to but, because there are so many steps to get up to the palace and she knows that my knee cannot handle steps, she had told her friends that were with her that she was going to take her mother there and hire men to carry me up and down the steps so that I can see the palace and do all of my sightseeing with hired men to carry me where I could not go on my own!  One of her friends was with us and she said, “That’s what I told you guys, remember?” And he nodded.

THAT’S what I think is special about Tina.  How many twenty year olds go off to explore the world with their friends and think of their mother while they are off with their friends?  How many of these twenty year olds would even admit to their friends that they were thinking about their mom and planning on taking their mom to see those places that they were seeing?  I don’t know but I don’t think the number is too big.

I am blessed to have each of my three children.  Each one of them is their own person and I have a special relationship with each one.  But this is about Tina.  I am blessed to have Tina as my daughter, for many reasons but I do remember, often, the feeling I had when she told me about the palace in Italy that she wanted to take me too and how she had put enough thought into it to tell her friends that she would need to hire someone to carry me up and down the many steps.  I remember the lump in my throat that I felt then and the tears that threatened to spill when I realized that all those miles away from me, my Tina was thinking about me.

I feel both that lump and the tears now and it’s not just about Italy; it’s about my Tina.

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