Retire Mechanical engineer. Student at California State university Channel Island studiyingAbout Me

July 26, 2015

Reflections on My Trip to Turkey

On this recent transatlantic crossing to my homeland of Turkiye, there were many things that I discovered, things that made me reflect, and things that made me sad.

As I thought about this, it occurred to me that perhaps these things are too private to share.  Yes, some things are, but some things are not.

I quickly realized how much I missed my wife's company. And the classical concerto playing in my ear only made it worse. But then I thought about having the time to concentrate on writing.

My mother is now ninety years old and it has become apparent just how hard it is on her to be apart from me, or from any of her children for that matter.

Will I be the same when I reach ninety? Is it silly to think that way? What makes me think that I will even live to be ninety? Besides, am I not one improved generation from my parents?

I think I can safely say that I will not think the way my mother thinks. Why, you ask? Because I believe the end of life is not what we hope it to be and I think we must accept that reality.

I also discovered things about my younger brother who is the professor at Avrasya University in Trabzon. My visit with him was interesting, to say the least. He still struggles to say, 'look at all I have accomplished.'

I realize now that, for many years, he was trying to do that with our father.

I hope he knows how proud I am of him and what he has made of himself; a successful college professor, with not one but two doctorate degrees. One evening he took me in to meet one of his classes and I saw the interaction between him and his students, who obviously adore him.

He is humorous at times, dead serious at other times, and there is a bond between them that I have never seen before.

Lastly, part of my sadness came on my return trip, when I thought I had lost my camera and the jewelry I had bought for my wife.

The camera held dozens of priceless pictures from my ancestral village and from the return drive back to Trabzon through the mountains.

The jewelry I had picked out with special care as a surprise for my wife.

I tried to dismiss my sadness by thinking this was just one of life's little disappointments.

But the feeling of losing these items segued into thoughts of losing someone close to me, which is even more devastating in my mind.

I am now trying to prepare for that reality.

To my surprise, when I arrived in New York, retrieved my suitcase and checked inside, I found my camera and the package containing my wife's jewelry. In my haste to pack, I must have dropped them into my large suitcase. Relieved, I placed the items in my backpack and re-checked my luggage to Los Angeles.

On the last leg of my journey home I reflected on the last three weeks. Things had become clearer.

Right now is what counts and each and every one of us must try to make the most of, and thoroughly enjoy, each day that we have left.