Note: This is the turning point in the trip. It's all happy from here on out. It's a very personal moment, but it changed everything and we still think about it all the time.
Rome didn't get a chance to prove itself today. We never went back out. And in a city where people say you couldn't see it all in 100 visits, it might seem foolish that we spent half of one of our two days inside the Oppenheim's apartment. But I wouldn't have had it any other way.
Jo took a nap while I folded the laundry we did last night. When she woek up we went down and sat in the kitchen in the empty apartment. Everyone was at Michael's confirmation. We made tomato soup. As we sat there, sick, tired, grumpy, and wet, we both began to cry. Not because we were sad. We were feeling a whole range of emotion, but not because we were sad.
We both realized that everything was ok. That everything was great because through the whole trip and the whole past insanely fast and busy 5 years, we had each other. Every step of the trip so far, no matter how wet or angry or good or relaxing, we had each other. And we were content. As we sat there and cried into our soup, we said a prayer of gratitude for our adventure so far and for the people God has put in our path.
I feel genuinely, deep down in my undeniable, unbreakable, untouchable and peaceful corners of my mind . . . happy. I feel like I've learned an amount of life lessons comparable to years. I feel like I want to be better. To not be angry or impatient. To be a better friend to people. To be more open to saying yes. To take things easier.
We both realized it's ok if we don't go 100mph all the time. It's ok if things don't get crossed off lists (this is huge for us). If sights go unseen. If people criticize our "giving up" on seeing as much of Rome as possible on our once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It's all ok. We have each other and we're happy with that.
This evvening, alone (but dry) in the Oppenheim's empty apartment, I had the most special experience of the trip. Not on some tour or standing on some monument. And I wouldn't trade it for anything. I don't think I'll ever look back and wish I could trade it for more time here or more time there. I'm grateful and infinitely happy in this moment. And full of hope for the next.
I told Jo I feel like that's the best way to feel. I apologized for being grumpy at any point on the trip and back at home. I told her I thought there's always something "better." That people will hear about our trip and say, "Oh, you should have eaten at this place instead," or, "You should have went to this city or seen this sight, it's so much better than what you did." But there's always something or some place or someone that you can find better or more beautiful or whatever. So I guess what I'll do from now is just say, "I love it all, and thank you for everything."
giving patches a huge before the trip