It took about three hours to get Princeton by Amtrak. The next orientation in Princeton was awesome, although I kept secretly my soft-yearning that yelling to my heart. I knew that all 13 AFS-ers had the same feeling. Hence, we didn't need a long time to start befriended and accepted the difference. After all, we would always be one AFS family. On the last day of orientation, my host family picked me up. My host mom and host sister impressed me a lot. There are there, for picking me up. They are them who had been waiting for me since early June. I hugged them tightly and my thank can never be enough. I remember my mom who was in a blue summer blouse cried when seeing me. I was speechless, but couldn't cry in return.
news coverage about myself and my involvement in school theatrical group .
Few days ago, I received a sad news from my mom informed me that my mom died. Hold on. My previous sentences was literally wrong. That must be so scary if really happens. No, I mean I was so lucky to be blessed by two wonderful host-family in Ridgewood. I have two host family. Two wonderful host mother preferred me to call them with 'Mom'. So, I have two host Moms. One is what I described above. Another one is previously my AFS liaison and continued to be one of the most closed yet fantastic person who loves and treats me as her own kids. On the half of my AFS year I was encouraged to experience another type of American family, who lives just few blocks from the big yet beautiful yellow house above. I then moved with my super host family in 209 West Glen Ave, Ridgewood.
My mom told me a grief story that my 1st mom passed away due to lungs cancer about few days ago. I was so shocked and saddened. My words couldn't express how sorry I was for this loss. My mom also suggested me to google the news, because the news was published a lot in the local, and even state media. Having had the experience to know my American mom personally was quite experience for me. And yeah, she had done many great things in life, and dedicated her whole-hearted spirit and aptitude to Ridgewood community. Thus, my sincere thoughts and prayers are truly with her. I hope she rest in peace, forever.
My mom is Ridgewood Councilwoman until at the time she passed away. On the same month and date, five years ago when I was introduced and said Hi to her. Today, I had to send my soft goodbye to her because her life-line already came to the dot. Here is the recent news from Northjersey.com which cover the story about the 'celebration of her life' that attended by hundreds of friends and family. I wanna cite what the site wrote :
"... After emotional speeches from her three children, Zusy’s husband, Al Ortiz, closed the ceremony, calling Zusy "an empowering mother." "When Annie recovered from breast cancer 16 years ago, she vowed not to waste another minute of another day," Ortiz said. "‘When it’s my time to go,’ she said back then, ‘I want people to have plenty to say and I want my children to hear it.’"
Reading that article made my heart beats faster and remained a sorrow deep down inside. I wish to be there and together with the beloved ones celebrated my mom's next stage of life. From the news, I also noticed that the prayers on the funeral was delivered in three religions, Islam, Jewish, and Christian. It was so unique of being her, and was really reflecting her.
The only thing I kept to remember her, beside experiences lied to my heart, is the 'testament' she wrote to me in the day I was leaving Ridgewood. It was so special when she also gave me seeds and sands from in front of her house to make me remember her and Ridgewood. Which I will do for sure. Here I also uploaded the special letter she wrote to me. You can click for zooming in.