Anna left today. Threw a few fragile things in the Volvo, said goodbye to the house, to Jon and Sonja, to Janice, to me, and then took off. Today is the beginning of her new story. There are still four long days of driving ahead, but her first stop is in Lawrence, KS, to pick up my little sister. They’re doing a kind of Thelma and Louise trip — minus the killing and the cliffs. I think they plan to sing and laugh their way along I-70 to the western side of Colorado, north on I-25 to I-80 and then west to Elko and finally to the Grand Avenue exit from I-580 in Oakland.
Watching her drive away was pretty tough. I’ll be here in Moline for another month (minus a trip to Oakland for Thanksgiving) so we’ll be apart for most of the next 5 weeks. We haven’t been in different states that long since we were married. I suspect we’ll iChat or Skype on a pretty regular basis, but it’s not the same as snuggling in bed or just sharing a quiet moment together drinking coffee and reading the paper.
Despite the ache of separation, I am happy that Anna is on her way home. Her time here in the midwest was eye-opening and wonderful in many ways. But being here also meant postponing her real vocational exploration. She is a woman who loves to serve women who are bearing children. She just couldn’t find a way to do that here in Moline in as meaningful a way as she found herself doing it in the Bay Area. So today marks the beginning of Anna finding her way back to the place where she can fulfill that vocational calling. She’s going home in more ways than one.
She’ll be in Oakland next week and I suspect she’ll want to hit the ground running, looking for ways to re-engage in the birth community. I’m looking forward to seeing her engaged again and doing the work she loves. And it won’t hurt that we’ll be home.