January 14, 2012

Hello, Goodbye

last, for now, dinghy ride home from our boat
It was a week of final moments: C4’s as they said goodbye to the boat that carried them safely from Turkey, ours as we squeezed in one last outing, one last dinner, one last moment with this family we’ve grown to love so much.

None of it was easy. And as I held my sad daughter tight she explained that all the goodbyes were just too hard—and I wondered again what kind of life we’ve set her up for--where friendships grow strong, and deep, and integral only to abruptly change as we all move on.

Goodbyes are hard, I whispered into her hair as I held her, searching for words of comfort. Telling her we’ll meet again, wouldn’t really help fill the gap that is left when you spend everyday, for months on end with someone. Reminding her we have memories and photos, can’t replace the voice on the other side of the radio when you call for someone to play with.

It’s okay to be sad, was all I could tell her. I’m sad too. And I’m really, really tired of saying goodbye.

On our first trip I abruptly realized something one day. We had been lucky enough to meet a couple we just knew would always be our friends. There was that sense of sureness and depth that made it clear there was no other option—but the day came when we needed to say goodbye. And we didn’t know when, or how, or where we’d see each other again. And my heart ached in a way I didn’t want to feel.

I knew then that when we stopped cruising it wouldn’t be because of money running out, or my fear running over, it would be because the pain of ‘goodbye’ had finally outweighed the excitement of ‘what’s next?’.

We’re tired of endings.
Tired of counting down days until planes fly away.
Tired of trying to fit every moment in –because that last moment is too close.
Tired of the heartbreak of goodbye.

 We needed a hello. And as C4’s plane was touching down in Adelaide and they returned to their old life, we were saying hello to Totem—and tying up their dock lines. Looking at each other in disbelief.

 22 months ago we cast Behan, Jamie, Niall, Mairen and Siobhan off from Mexico. We promised to catch up with them and meet here—so we could be neighbours again.
the last time the girls played together they were 5, 7 and 8--and they haven't missed a beat
nor have the grown-ups...
  There are friends who you just know will always be your friends. People who months or years after you say goodbye can sit in your home and pick-up a conversation like it was yesterday. Friends where it all seems easy—where they know you, and you know them, and being together feels like you’ve come home.
exploring our new home together
 We’re done with goodbyes for a while. We’re ready to build a community—with potlucks and quiet dinners, long walks and new adventures.

“Hello is a beautiful word,” Maia told me.
That it is.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love this!! So cool to see you together again.