( picture is from STL-mo gov.
The most terrible thing about the first day arrive in Shanghai is about sleep. I cannot sleep, could you image that? it is 2:16 in the morning? yes, I guess I am still living in the time zone of STL, 3:16 p.m in the afternoon? What did I normally do at that time? reading, preparing for the choir practice.. oh.. Today we won’t have a choir, but a mass for priest retreat at SFdS. I remember that tomorrow will be the feast of Sacred Heart of Jesus, which is a big day for SFdS friends, since we have a special devotion to the sacred heart of Jesus,
STL is just such a beautiful city, I cannot say more about my love to her. The day before I left, I stayed with H family, who are really really nice to me. Normally I often has sleeping problem in a new place, but to my surprise, I slept really well that night. Chad came by to say goodbye to me for the third time.
The morning before I left was still kind of busy. We packed, we drove by school to say goodbye to CSC which gave me a lot of supports when I first came to STL and where I first met my spiritual director…hahaha. The staff there were always very nice people. I briefly walked by school and said “see you soon” to Greg. I know that we will always stay in touch. Then we drove by Cathedral. Br. RB has his white collar on which is soooo coool! I am really looking forward to seeing him become Deacon RB and Fr. RB in the near future!
We cleaned my apt for the last time. Fr. J came and help and he helped me to check in all the luggage and just to make sure that I am OK in the STL part. Right before I left LA, he called me again and said that he worried that I would feel lonely at airport because I was there by myself. He told me again and agin about how much God loves me. I do believe that, without God, how could I just come to STL for the first place. All the thing I took away from STL was due to God’s love.
One the way to the airport I complained last but not least time about Michael who actually burst into tears when seeing I leave. He is a strong guy, who rarely cried.
At the airport, Daniel came and later Steven showed up too. Kosi, Daniel, Steven, Michael and I sat together just as what we did before, chatting and chatting. This made me feel that I am just “away” for a while and we will definitely see each other soon.
One of the most dramatic part of my departure was 20 minutes before I decided to go through security. Archbishop came by… so my friends encouraged me to ask him for a blessing. HA! I finally got a chance to talk with Archbishop …lol.. I do appreciate STL archdiocese which has given me such a encouraging and loving environment to learn about God.
Landing on LA, an old gentleman and his son from STL helped me with the luggages. They do represent the kindness of STL. Friends, STL is so unique in the middle of America. In some way, STL represents the golden age of American ethic and value. The friendship and other types of relationship have eternity in it. I would never feel that I am leaving. I am away now, but I will see you soon!
Being alone at the airport was not the first time, and will not be last time. Thanks to the high technology, I can make phone calls, chatting and keeping in touch with all the friends. The 13.5 long flight was really tiring, but it was nice with prayers and.. Lord of rings.. hahah (but I am still not that efficient in reading as my friend on the flight. I only finished three chapter, and I took more than 3 naps.. )
I finally asked the fly attendants about their secret sleeping places. They do take in turn sleeping when fly long distance and the sleeping places are different in different type of flight. In the plan I took… there is a secrete tunnel between two lavatories led to their secret sleeping place downstairs.. The fly attendants only showed me the entrance and described the detail about that.
At the airport, I met a girl from LA who did not prepare anything to go to Shanghai.. It really needed a little bit courage to do that. Since I came from STL, I helped her find a hotel in Shanghai. Please pray for her.. I did not want to see her get lost in Shanghai..lol..
STL is something already blend in my blood and has become my second home, most importantly a spiritual home, where I learned God’s love and his love to people. I will try my best to take these things with me to the eternity.