Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Long Good-bye

We first heard about this opportunity about a year ago. Less than a month later, we decided to take a leap of faith and head to South Africa. Since that time, I feel like life has become one long good-bye. For example, my mom came last October, which you can read about here, here, and here and when we had to say good-bye to her at that time, I was already thinking about BIG goodbye that would be coming up in the near future. Then we spent Christmas with my family in Washington and had to say good-bye again. I knew I'd be seeing my mom again soon, so it wasn't as hard to leave her, but I cried plenty saying good-bye to my dad at the airport.Then in February, my mom came to stay with us. She arrived the same day we moved into our apartment, so I was already feeling a bit emotional, which made our final good-bye on US soil even more difficult. Since then, I talk to my mom a few times a week (or maybe even a few times a day) and think about how easy it is right now to pick up the phone and talk to her and knowing that we probably won't be talking as often once we move. I am so thankful that I can talk to my mom (and dad) so often right now, but there's something about these phone calls that makes me feel like I am saying good-bye all over again. I don't really know how to explain it, but it kind of starts to get a girl down!

Then there's Rachel. We were both happily living in denial until the reality of our house selling and things in Africa progressing kind of hit both of us upside the head. There are some weeks where I see Rachel 5 out of 7 days and there is rarely a day that we don't talk on the phone several times, send emails and chat on facebook. I am thankful for each moment we have together and I literally feel like I am sucking in each moment, like a sponge, because I know that in less than 2 months we won't be in the same city, same country, or even the same continent any more. We've shed a few tears, but one of us is quick to put a stop to it because I think we both know that once we really start, it's going to be hard to stop! So each week, we see each other and then we say good-bye and even these frequent good-byes are kind of starting to hurt because we both know the big one is coming closer and closer.

We just spent Spring Break with Darin's family in Minnesota and after saying good-bye to them this summer and saying good-bye to Grandma Karen again a couple weeks ago we knew it was going to be hard. And it was. I think I had so prepared myself to cry that my tears didn't come, and then there's Darin who wasn't as prepared and got a little overwhelmed with emotion.

Since we came back from Spring Break, it seems like something has changed in me. I want to leave. Now. I wish we could just pack up and get on a plane tomorrow. All of a sudden I am just tired of the good-byes. They are hard, and painful and I know we have some really hard ones coming up. (Not that saying good-bye to our families wasn't painful, but we are already separated from them by 12 or more hours, so we are kind of used to not being near them). I just want to leave and not have to go through it, but I know that isn't possible and I know I would miss out on a lot of good if I tried to avoid the bad.

2 comments:

Michelle B said...

You know we Rooks girls love you and promise not to say goodbye but see you later (though I can't promise that we won't cry!)

Jenniflower said...

I can understand your feelings as someone who is also contemplating moving back to South Africa (I live in London, UK). Stay strong, and value the time you have left with those on the other side of the ocean. Goodbyes are SO difficult, aren't they? Hugs