Thursday, June 25, 2015

Goodbye, Again

Can it really be that time of year already, when houses empty out as people head on to new posts, leaving the rest of us behind?

I feel like we just did this: just said the tearful goodbyes and hugged best friends for the last time, maybe ever.

For me, it isn't such a big deal this summer. Truthfully? I can count the number of people I'll miss on one hand, and even that leaves a few fingers behind for typing. Maybe it's me, or maybe it's just the way this post works, but I haven't really bonded with too many people here. In fact, in the past year, I've been invited over to someone else's house, socially, for something non-work related, exactly two times. Not for lack of trying - we've invited plenty of people over here. I think people here are too busy somehow, or too closed off. Or maybe I'm just looking in the wrong places. Still, it's a stark contrast to Amman, where people floated in and out of each others' houses on a weekly basis.

It's different for the kids. Some of them have made fast friends this past school year, and saying goodbye to them is just so hard. There have been lots of tears shed over the past week. Just today, my youngest had to say goodbye to her "BFF," as she calls her friend B. I wasn't there when they said goodbye to one another - I didn't know exactly when the family was leaving, so I missed the traumatic goodbye scene. But she ran straight home and into my lap, cheeks flushed, eyes red with tears.

It never gets easier, the goodbyes. When I see my small babies hurting like that, and I know that we did this to them, that this transient life we lead did this to them, well, it just stings.

I know it's temporary. I know she'll have a new best friend within a few months, as will my other child, who had his own tearful goodbye this week. But even knowing that, it still hurts, because I can't make it better for them.

"Why do people always leave?" sobbed Ainsley, and how could I answer her? I don't know why, I told her. But I'm here. I'm not leaving you.

So we're circling the wagons as a family, trying to spend the long summer days together and hoping that in August, when the new families start rolling off of the airplanes into Moscow, there will somebody new for us to love.


Nomads By Nature said... [Reply]

Good byes just plain suck. This weekend, although full of last hanging outs, will finish with the realization that the end has finally come, and good bye is inevitable. Again. My son has farewelled three good friends in the past four weeks. Two more in the next days will happen - one of whom has been a best friend here. I know the crash of emotions is coming. Again. And it hurts the heart. I think circling the wagons is a great description for the mourning and healing process that good-byes require in preparation for open hearts for new arrivals.

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