22 January 2012


My Dad died yesterday. He was 69. He had many lung problems - he was always afraid he would suffocate, but instead he fell asleep and did not wake up. He had been sick for over 10 years, so while it wasn't unexpected, the death of someone so close is never expected and never easy. You always hold on to the hope that some miracle will happen.

I am not going home for the funeral. He did not want me to come home. He wanted me to stay - and I know that if I went home I would not be able to get on the plane back here. He is not there anyways. He said many times that he wished he could be here with me, travel with me, come see me - now he can.

This semester will be a struggle for me. You will notice this reflected in the blog, I am sure. The nature of this semester is very different anyways - there are no big trips planned, not even weekend excursions. Yes, I will get out and explore Ireland, but not in the way I did Italy. I will be taking four classes, participating in a choir, doing some work online, and focusing on breathing and taking each day at a time.

I have three months and twenty-five days until I touch down in the States again. In 41 days my Roma cohort, the great Natalie, will come to visit me.

I am honored to be going through this journey. I am honored to be continuing this journey. I am honored to have so much support from family and friends. I am honored that you are reading this.

Now, in the words of my stepmom, Sheila, it's time to "lock and load".

Thank you so much, dear readers, for you support and prayers.


  1. Mari, I am sorry to hear of your dad's passing. I will always remember his smile. Our prayers are with you. -Amy

  2. Mari, all my best to you from Ohio. <3 -Ellen

  3. Love you. Be strong. Keep breathing.