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Tomorrow is the anniversary of a day that will stay in our collective memories as long as we live.  9/11 is seared into our minds.Please keep all the families in your prayers.

Today however in memory of September 11 I choose to focus on the blessings in my life.  My family.  Last summer my husband and I booked a Mediterranean Cruise to celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary. We would sail at the end of June 2013. This summer, my baby daughter, Becca did a study abroad program thru The University of Oklahoma in Barcelona, Spain.  It was a little unnerving her getting on a plane to go abroad. She has never been out of the country with us let alone traveling alone! She prepared and in spite of nerves headed on her way.  We touched base every few days and heard about many exciting things she was doing and the friends she was meeting.  It was all so exciting.

The most exciting thing was the way schedules worked out.  Becca’s study abroad was going to finish up on June 21.  Her dad and I would arrive on June 23, in Barcelona, the day before our ship was to sail.  At first Becca did not want us to spend the day with her. She felt it was our anniversary and she didn’t want to “butt in”.  We assured her opportunities like this would be rare and it would be a fantastic way to start our adventure. Her dad and I decided to book a hotel room for her in the same hotel where we were spending one night. It was a good thing as two of the friends she shared a flat with had nowhere to go for a night before they met up with their parents.

The blessing of the summer was seeing how much our daughter had grown during her study abroad.  She moved, in our eyes, from youngest child to young adult! We had 18 hours to spend with Becca.  We enjoyed seeing many Barcelona sites with Becca as our tour guide and meeting a couple of her flatmates.  We walked around the city, window shopped and enjoyed lunch.  We met up with her friends for dinner and enjoyed hearing all about the time they spent together.  None of the conversation mentioned studying though! To double the blessing, our dear friends, the Barnby’s joined us too, for our time in Barcelona and on the cruise.

The next morning we enjoyed a leisurely breakfast with Becca and I cried as we put her in a cab to the airport to head back to the USA.  My best friend, aka hubby, and I did a bit more walking around to see where Becca had lived while there and then headed to the port to start our wonderful anniversary celebration.

I am thankful I enjoyed a few hours with Becca and in another country at that. How amazing is that and how fun!  Our children grow up so fast and I want to latch on to every opportunity I have to spend time with them.  I am so thankful for time with her and that she still wants to spend time with her parents. Thank you Becca.


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14 Responses to Blog: So Thankful

  1. Carolyn says:

    Craig and I are right behind you, Mary. It’ll be 30 for us next year. I’m pretty sure Barcelona won’t be in the cards for us but you’ve given me some good ideas for making it special. Congratulations on your anniversary. I wish you many more happy years together!

  2. Tameka says:

    That is so cool that you were able to meet up with Becca. I kinda feel like she became a young adult before my eyes as well as I have followed your stories over the past 4 years.

    I love how you have taken today and made it a day to reflect on life, love and family. It is still a bit hard for me and my family as we were so very close to the World Trade, but this blog has brought a smile to me face and brightened my spirits.

    • Mary says:

      Tameka, I can only imagine how New Yorkers feel today. Sat in the den crying today of stories about people who went above and beyond saving lives while losing their own. Wait till you see the pic a friend took of Rick at work today..very patriotic! I haven’t seen it yet as the picture taker is still working and said she’d post it when she got home this evening. Big hugs for you, your family and friends today.

  3. Glenna says:

    What a wonderful story and so many good memories? I love the page. To be able to enjoy Barcelona together and see if through your daughter’s eyes as she had learned it while studying there was quite an experience. Hope the cruise was great too.

  4. Jan says:

    I know the whole trip was a blast, Mary, but what a perfect start! And a great way to commemorate 9/11 – by reminding us of the importance of families and friends. Thanks.

  5. Felisha says:

    I love this story!! And 9/11 is hard for my daughter – she turned 3 the day the twin towers came down. Her birthday every year is surrounded by sadness, and she dislikes it so. I’m happy that you have a good memory to remember on 9/11 – so do I! The birthday of my oldest child!!

    • Mary says:

      We have a couple friends born on Sept 11. It was a hard day in everyone’s memory BUT what a joyous way to celebrate as a birthday. Helps us to remember how precious our lives are!

  6. Deborah Ciavarella says:

    Oh Mary how wonderful! Yes, our children are only “small” for such a short time. What a great opportunity to spend time with Becca abroad! And for her to have the opportunity to study there! We have sent our oldest Joey to tour Europe when he was in college, our daughter Coni to Italy for two weeks, Matthew to also tour Europe with his then girlfriend and our Becki to Australia for two weeks for her honeymoon!!! Lest I say that Joe and I have never been out of country, except some islands on cruises! I always ask my hubs Joe….what’s wrong with this picture? lol I love your page, it is awesome! You Pixies do great work, and I thank God for you girls. I have learned so much from all of you. Loved Loved Loved meeting you, Jan and Justine in Naples! What a memorable weekend! Going to Ft. Meyers this week-end for a “CM” Retreat run by Beth Beller~ Can’t wait! Have a wonderful day Mary!

    • Mary says:

      Deborah, Our kids were doing more than us until just the last few years when we decided to go for some travel ourselves. We also go on one day adventures in our area now as we check out local attractions! You’ll see more of those pages soon. We had a ball in Naples and hope you have a great time at Beth’s retreat.

  7. adakallen adakallen says:

    Barcelona definitely has some interesting “art” in many areas–homes, churches, open air areas. Love your pictures.

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