In life, goodbyes are plentiful. They are something that cannot be avoided and yet, they can bring with them so much emotion, pain, sadness, growth and transition.
This week, our dear friends are moving away to Arizona. We spent a little time with them at the park yesterday while their movers finished up loading the truck. I had an appointment to get to and while we were there chatting away, I lost track of the time and suddenly we had to leave so I wouldn't be late.
The goodbyes were hurried and the whole situation was incomplete -- only part of their family was present and C was not there with ours. I sent with SSW, a message of hugs and love for her other kids and her husband -- but it's not the same as giving them the message in person.
When SSW and I hugged, I didn't want to let her go. I think she felt the same way about me. And Z, seeing our tears just was overcome by the emotion and took off running. He headed towards home, but later when I drove down that street, he was sitting there at the corner on a rock, just staring off into the distance. He's never been really great with goodbyes.
But none of us really are.
It was just moments before we parted ways when J started sobbing uncontrollably. I think she'd been in denial about their move until that very moment. She can get pretty emotional -- a lot like her Mama. So it was very difficult ... I was running late to my appointment ... Z had run away to only God knew where at that moment ... J could not be comforted. S, H and O were handling things their own ways.
It was all so very sad.
And yet, as I said to my friend ... "This is not goodbye."
I know -- unlike all the friends we left in New England -- Arizona is less than a day's drive. We could go for a long weekend to visit some time. I and I hope we do. I hope they do. But still, transitioning from what we're used to is so difficult.
And as if seeing them drive away wasn't so very, very hard enough to do, today, I brought S to meet her new classmates. They all went on retreat for the rest of this week. She was definitely feeling nervous about going away to camp with strangers. I know she'll do great.
She'll be back on Friday, but this is a big thing for her. She is enrolled in an adult program this year. Her final year of high school will be a true bridge of childhood to adulthood. It's going to be wonderful for her and we are so very proud of her.
But still, it isn't easy seeing our oldest so close to leaving after just so recently feeling like together we are a real family. Perhaps it's that feeling that will carry us through the transition of this coming year.
So many goodbyes and yet none of them really are. So I'll say, "Farewell." That is, I hope that we all fare well in our time apart. Until we can hug one another again.
And for friends and family in California and New England, whom we left in our moves around the country ... I hope you're continuing to fare well also. We still miss you and can hardly wait for the day we can hug one another again.