LIBERTY ISLAND & ELLIS ISLAND – As my time here comes to a close I find leaving to be bittersweet, and exactly as it should be. I am ready to return home but sad to leave my new friends. To all of you here in NYC, you’ve made my time here incredibly special. As we all know, life is what you make of it and the people around you matter. Thank you once again for all that you have done for me here.
LIFE IN GENERAL – I’ve spent this past weekend catching up on a few last-minute museums and some eateries. I made it to the Transit Museum in Brooklyn and ate at Sarge’s Deli is mid-Manhattan. The transit museum was good but I’ve reached saturation on museums. It’s sad but true, I reached Museum burn-out! Sarge’s Deli was very good and the staff was exceptional. Opened in the 1960’s and I do believe it gives Katz Deli some true competition.
Pondering my final week ahead – I’ve thought a lot about these last weeks. All the things I’ve learned, enjoyed, and will miss. I’ve also thought about returning home and the blessings of family and friends who I have missed. Some days I really do ponder about all the pieces and parts of living and how intricate and joyful our lives can be if we allow it.
As those of you who know me can attest, my life has been rich in many ways. There have been bright days and there have been dark days. In all of it though, I have been given much and for that I owe much in return. My desire to experience and learn from others has been a powerful asset. I’ve always wanted to better understand other people and the lives they live which helps me to live mine more fully. I believe in a God who has protected me, provided for me, and walked with me through it all. Even in the darkest of days when losses were all encompassing, my God was still there. And when I was angry at Him and needed a break, he remained there for me. You see, life is not easy nor is it simple. But it can be if we stop to share moments with others, make friends with all, and take time to give back in every way possible. I believe life truly is what we make of it and how we choose to be present with the people and events we share.
Over the course of these past 14-weeks, I have embraced this new adventure. I have been blessed to be with people who nourished and accepted me, who allowed me into their lives, who shared a little or a lot, and who will forever be a part of my being. Here is just a few of the many blessings this journey has provided me. I have . . .
achieved success in my ability to make a difference through volunteering.
been supported by family and friends in my endeavors.
been supportive of others.
been reminded of all the silly questions we ask when living the tourist life.
completed a dream from my bucket list.
developed an added appreciation for our National Park Service and its employees.
experienced the world from a New York point of view.
explored the city, its attractions, and its people.
felt a sense of accomplishment.
helped thousands of visitors find the restrooms.
made new friends who have and will continue to impact my life.
observed the ways and whys of those around me.
opened my mind and heart to new ideas.
To all of you here in NYC, you’ve made my time here special. I’ve tried my best to understand and appreciate your way of life more fully and I feel I’ve made progress. However, I also realize I can never be a true “New Yorker.” This great city, rich in history and character, is certainly one I will continue to visit with a deeper sense of appreciation.
Be safe and stay well. And please forgive any typos or grammatical errors.
Hugs to all,
P.S. My brother had open heart surgery last Friday (9/23/22) and is recuperating. He’s had some struggles but is going to be just fine. Thank you for your thoughts, prayers, and well wishes.