Day 382 | SEPTEMBER 27, 2022
Good evening. Today is 9/27/2022 of our new and grateful life.
I have missed writing my journal daily; it is amazing the energy I receive from you when I post it; while in Brazil, it was incredible the number of friends and family members that shared with me how much they enjoyed and appreciated the updates, and how much they miss it.
I am writing this entry during my flight from Bogota to Washington DC, and as I reflect on this past week, I just have one word, gratitude, this trip was memorable in so many ways, first by Charlie’s selfless act when she demanded that London and I attended the wedding, to the opportunity to travel alone with my first born son London, I took this trip as a opportunity to get closer to him, to be present and see how amazing he is, the warm and genuine welcome from my family, my mother, my sisters, my brother’s in law and friends, it was wonderful to reconnect with my cousins from Natal, the last time I saw them was over 4 years ago, it really made me appreciate family in a whole new level, London experienced Brazil like never before, he was able to communicate and engage his cousins and new friends, he shared the hardships of daily life in a large city, he enjoyed fantastic food, and discovered new flavors, he even had his own daily café com leite , he experienced what freshly baked French bread taste like from the bakery around the corner, he rode the bus and the subway and saw how millions of people get to work/ school in São Paulo, he learned to watch his step as he walked in the uneven and dangerous side walls of the city, he also experienced first-hand, the love and generosity of his extended family, the kindness of strangers in the street, he now know what being Brazilian really means, and I am so grateful for that.
We became much closer on this trip; I now can see how sweet, funny, kind, curious, and intelligent London is, and I love every aspect of his personality; I have learned to be more patient with him; this trip has been a fantastic gift.
Now, my sister Marianna and my brother-in-law Giuliano were beyond anything I had ever expected; it was not a traditional ceremony with a Priest, but it was one of the most intimate ceremonies I had ever witnessed; the celebrant read their incredible story, using the facts collected from the family members and the couple ahead of time, the story took us from how they meet on Tinder, to Marianna canceling their second date five times in a row, they were vulnerable when they shared that when they met, they both were in a shallow part of their lives and how they lifted each other, there was not a single dry eye during this dynamic profession of love, they even had a sign brought down the aisle with the names of their loved ones that have passed away, including my dad, to the sound of “here to the ones that we loved,” I could not hold back my tears, one thing that I could notice on this trip, how much more vulnerable with their emotions Brazilians can be, just beautiful.
The party was equally impressive; every detail was well thought out, the food was delicious and plentiful, the drinks cold and abundant, and the band didn’t stop! They played for over 6 hours, and there were more people on the dance floor than at the tables during the entire party, which is quite normal for Brazilian weddings; they even had entertainment for the children with excellent nannies for kids and London’s delight, they spoke English:)
It is not a secret that Marianna loves MacDonalds, so for her midnight snack, carts full of Quarter Pounder’s double cheeseburgers and apple pies from McDonald’s were served to the over 150 guests; unlike in the US, McDonald’s is a beloved and expensive treat in Brazil, you should see the excitement over this surprise treat.
The groom's family is lovely, so kind and welcoming; it was lovely to meet them for the first time; Giuliano’s parents cooked us a fantastic meal a day before the wedding. Our families are a perfect match!
The wedding was the highlight of this trip, but every day was memorable. Every encounter enriched me; at every outing, we learned something; I am comfortable saying that I have become a better person after this trip, and so is London.
Now that we are about to land back in the US, I am wondering what changes I am making to ensure that I can bring our family's love, kindness, and affection to my family at home.
I missed Charlie and Julien so much during this trip, but it is comforting to know they also had a great time with each other, and they have grown closer as well, so this trip was a win-win for all of us, and for that, I am grateful!
Please continue to pray, to continue to support us by purchasing a copy of the book and sharing it with a friend, and please write your honest review of the book on Amazon; it helps the reader show up for more people.
Charlie is continuing to heal; she is maintaining the progress that she has made, and we are so grateful for her team of doctors, PT, OT, Psychologist, RNs, and aids; they are a massive part of her continued healing.
I hope you enjoy some of the pictures I took while in Brazil.
May God bless you!