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an open letter to my mom for her birthday

October 8, 2005

Dear Mom,
I am sorry about the lack of happy birthday on your actual birthday, but I was planning on telling you that on the phone. But because that didn’t work out I figured I would send you one by email instead. Although as a good daughter I should know this, I am not sure what age you just turned. 53 would be my guess? or maybe 54? But then you could just take this forgetfulness on my part as a compliment and indication of your timeless quality 🙂

I just had a really nice Indian food dinner with Dan, Meryl and Steph. Although pricey by Chinese standards, it was only around 5 dollars and the food rivaled that of a good restaurant in the states. So our group was quite happy. On the way back we took a taxi and I successfully communicated our school name to the taxi driver, which was actually a first for me. Chengdu looks quite beautiful when you drive through it at night. The street lights reflected off the river and the skyscrapers loomed. The streets were full with people, but not bursting as they some times are. The days are getting cooler here, which is a nice relief and the open window of the taxi created a nice breeze.

Anyways, this email is about you, so I just wanted to say I think of you and Dad often and all the rest of our family that is scattered around the globe. What did you end up doing for your personal day? I actually did quite a bit of journaling on my birthday. How does marking another year lived feel for you? I am sure you feel this even more than I do, but sometimes I am amazed at where the years went. While I do feel older than my junior high self, I also can’t quite belief I am two full years into my twenties. I think I tend to find my birthdays a little bittersweet as of late, I mean while I am still young, each year that passes does tend to remind me that my life is very temporary in the grand scheme of things. Last night I watched one of the animated shorts from the 75th Academy Awards (I bought a DVD of them, pirated of course) in which it tells the story of two rocks on a hill and when it is in their time humans whirl through history starting from the stone ages and speeding onto modernization, but for the Rocks it takes only a few minutes. I guess sometimes I look at my own life and feel a similar temporariness.
I hope you and Dad are doing well, I just read the Assemblyline for tomorrow and saw the fall retreat is coming up and the barn dance. I hope both are better attended this year. Maybe having fall break on a different weekend will increase college students attendance at retreat? Have you heard much back from Marshall and Bethany about their travels? Tonight Dan brought up how neat it was that they attended our send-off, I know all of us former MYFers really appreciated it.

Well this email is getting on in length. Oh I have really been enjoying buying presents as of late, I figure since our Christmas presents this year are taking the form of plane tickets I would make up for that while I am in a place where most everything is so much cheaper than the states.

Anyways I should head back over to the Waiban, but much love and a huge hug from your very loving if slightly late daughter,
All the best,
Abby

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