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Blessings in Budapest

Dear Hannah,

I don't know if your flight from Zurich to your destination is in progress, or if you have already landed in Budapest. I do know this though, it has been at least fourteen hours since we parted ways, and it feels like it just happened today.

Last night at the check in gate, you reached your arms out to me, we hugged a bit tighter and a little longer then we have in the past few months. Not that our embraces have ever lacked emotion, but this one was different. This was not the hug that we usually do when you return to college, because we both know that you are not far away, and might have the opportunity to come home. Instead, this embrace was the reality that we both knew was coming. you were off to a new country, a new culture and new way of life.

I saw the tears in your eyes, they were are mixture of sadness, anxiety, and reality that your family was not going with you. Even though I wanted to be the rock for you in that moment, I welled up too. Half of that was because it broke my heart to see you like that, and the other half is that I was going to miss you. I still do.

Despite the sorrow yesterday, I am so excited and proud of your decision to take this journey. Yes you are primarily there for academics, so there will be rigor, structure and challenges during your time in Budapest. Yet you will also have the chance to explore a beautiful city, rich with history, culture and opportunities that you will never see in the United States. Not to mention, you will be vacationing in Italy and celebrating Saint Patrick's Day in Ireland. As happy as I am for you, just know that I can't help but still feel a bit jealous about the whole Ireland situation, especially since you made the plans in front of me. I'll survive though, The High Kings will bring Ireland to me the second week of March, so I can't complain that much. Anyway, I'm incredibly happy for you and can't wait for the amazing experiences that you will have.

I wish you nothing but blessings during your time in Budapest. The fun you will have, the memories you will make, and the things that you will learn are worth it. Please know that I love you, I'll pray for you, and I cannot wait to hear about your study abroad experience.

Your big sister,


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