I paid my fare, collected my ticket, and sat down on the bus. Something I had done hundreds of times before to make the trip from Jarabacoa to Santo Domingo, but today was different.
It would be my last time making this trip while living in the Dominican Republic.
It was my last full day on the island.
The bus started down the winding road, passing familiar sights. My mind didn’t give them much notice, nor the Steven Seagal movie that was playing on the bus’s entertainment system. I had a book in hand, a collection of short stories by Phillip K. Dick to pass the time. I remember reading one story (I believe it was called The Golden Man) that day about a man who always saw infinite possibilities in front of him. Considering all the possibilities and unknowns that were before us, it put me deep in thought.
We were set to fly out early the next day. My wife Julia, our 9 month old daughter Lara, and our dog Nina were going to embark on a new chapter of life.
Julia and Lara’s first time in the USA. Their first time experiencing winter. In fact, I remember what Julia first said when we stepped of the plane in Minneapolis a few days later, “It feels like sticking your face in the freezer” when, in fact, the freezer is warmer than what we were experiencing in Minneapolis that day.
I had membranous glomerulonephritis. I was to be part of a trial at Mayo Clinic for treatment.
We had no health insurance. With a few thousand dollars to our name (most of which I was carrying with me in cash) and some faith (I’ll get to that later), we were taking things one day or one moment at a time.
Over the coming days/weeks/months/years I will be writing out bits and pieces of my story. I haven’t said much about it but it has been bubbling up more over the past several months through questions, conversations, and thoughts.
It’s time to write it out.
There won’t be a rhyme or reason to the order I write, it will be bits as they come up. I will try to link them together, and answer questions like:
- How did you find out you had a kidney disease?
- How did you meet your wife? How did she get her residency so she could travel to the USA? You mean she couldn’t travel here without a visa?
- What were you doing in the Dominican Republic?
- What happened with your kidneys?
- Why were you on a bus your last day in the country?
I’m looking forward to the journey, and honored to have you join me on it!