The final week to be in USA arrived. Everything I had left at the flea market I sold for $50. I didn’t sell my Mobil home so I abandoned it. I sold my shed I built for $1000. All my credit cards had a forwarding address. I had my accounts all in order. All bills paid up. Everything was ready.
Preparing Sniffy, my humane society dog and best friend. I gave her a breed, a Miniature Barrel Shepard, because she didn’t have one and I didn’t want her to feel bad about that. I got her a flying crate filled with her favorite blanket and her cat bowl. All labeled. She had her traveling pills to relax her. She had all her stamps from Dominican Republic. She was already a Dominican citizen.
I took her to the Vet for her papers to state she was healthy for the flight. When we came back to my parents’ house. My mother was sitting in her room. I went in to tell her Sniffy was all ready. She started crying, “Sniffy is going to die on the plane, she won’t like it there”. She cried over the dog! She never worried if I was going to be OK (this was a family joke for a long time)!
My friends had a going-away party for me at the old local bar. My friend, Patty, took a video of it and I’ll cherish that video forever. It was a good time. An end to one life and the beginning of another. When a person moves all the promises of keeping in touch and visiting are forgotten in time. With the exception of a handful of special friends, we have all lost touch. But it’s all OK. Memories of past times are always good.
My family also had a going away-Birthday party for me. It was a sort of picnic in the yard. Then we did a family dinner. It was nice. When we left the restaurant I hugged my grandparents’ goodbye. I’ll never forget this in all my life. When my grandfather hugged me, and he hugged me tightly. He whispered in my ear to go and do what I dream. Don’t worry about what anyone says about what I do. Then he said, in a broken voice “I’ll probably never see you again. I love you”. It took everything in me not to cry. I didn’t want to break down in the parking lot. *My Pappap is now 93 and I have seen him again. Even when I think of this now I still feel tears welling up.
The day to leave came. Billy Jay and my dad took me to the airport. My mom didn’t want to go, she didn’t want me to go and didn’t want to cry in public I guess. I had Sniffy, the dog, who weighed about 80 lbs. I had my 2 check-in suitcases which I weighed to make sure they were exactly the correct weight, I had my carry on piece of luggage, correct weight. I had 2 a large plastic tote box filled with my computer and all that went with it. Got weighed in but it seemed that the scale was a bit off. They let the luggage go but I had to unload some of the things out of the plastic tote. No fax machine and a few other things. Standing there emptying out the box with all the cases and the dog barking in her cage surround me. I’m sure I was a sight to be seen.
So all was done and proceeded to the line to enter the airport. I hugged and kissed my dad and my son. I didn’t cry. It was hard not to when my son and dad both had tears in their eyes. But I did it. Even as I had to stop to get my carry on luggage checked out. I had a box with all my jewelry in it. There was porcupine quill jewelry, coon peckers, a few coyote teeth. Not your normal jewelry pieces. They inspected, questioned and let me through. As Billy Jay and my daddy looked on.
As I flew away from USA I didn’t feel sad. I was so excited to start a new life in Dominican Republic. Then when I saw “my island” I cried, as I always did and knew I was home. The Dominicana Gringa has arrived!