Saying Goodbye, Saying Hello

And just like that, it’s the end of another expat “season”…

School’s out!!!

Bootcamp is on summer holiday! (I think we’re both happy and sad about that… it’s been SOOO hot lately!)

And we are just a few days away from getting on a plane to spend the next 7 weeks in Colorado, USA!!!

I stood on the school track Thursday, the kids’ last day of school, and imagined what it might feel like to be standing there for the last time.  As I took in the view of the bleachers where I’d sat and cheered the kids on in their track meets, the balcony where Tommy had taken his class picture after his grade 4 moving up ceremony, the field where I’d watched rugby and baseball games, and the theater where the kids had so often performed in band & plays, I felt all teary-eyed & emotional.

Even though we’re not the ones moving!

But too many of our friends are, and each “leaving season” makes me acutely miss those friends that left a year ago or 5 or 9 years ago… and it hurts all over again.  In this expat life, we become close quickly… that’s just how it works.  Because if we wait too long, we might miss our chance with someone… who knows when that notice is going to come along that it’s time to move on.

And so we invest.  It’s the only thing we can do, really… beyond that, we would just have to live in isolation, and we just couldn’t survive that way.  Nope, we depend on each other when family is across the globe.  From little things like, “Hey, can you pick up my kid at the bus stop?” And, “Please pay for my Indian food take-out, I promise I’ll pay you back!” … To the life-changing things that are too big to be written here but that build bonds forever.

The way I see it, and what helps helps my heart survive, is to consider that although I won’t have this particular dear friend in my life on a day to day basis anymore, our experiences together have bound us inextricably, so that whenever, no matter how long it might be, we can be together again, it would be like no time has passed.  And that has pretty much played out over the years.

I still walk by my friends’ old houses nearly every day on my morning walk.  I think of them, pray for them, and feel happy for the time that we shared together.  And I’ve been blessed to have been able to visit many of my friends… all over the world!… after we’ve been separated by a move. Lucky me!

And then, I think of the people I’ve said “hello” to over the past year.  Another amazing blessing, to be able to invest in new friendships…

So the cycle begins again…

We’re just 3 days out from our summer home leave, another lovely “hello”!  As the years pass, I treasure our summer leave more and more.  I need it… to reset, to rejuvenate, to connect with family, and just to get a taste of HOME.  I think everyone living outside their home country can relate to this feeling of needing to re-connect with your country and your “people”… family and friends who’ve known you forever… to give us that sense of, “Ahhh… yes!!!  This just feels right…”

It’s different for everyone, but here’s what I love about being back in Colorado:

Cool, crisp mornings where the fresh air just beckons you outside with a mug of warm coffee…

Cranking up the country music in our Kia minivan as we drive along big, smooth, empty roads…

Nodding hello to my familiar walking “friends” as I jog along the fitness trail behind my Pa’s house…

Sitting with my Pa on his deck, watching the sunset with a glass of wine (ok, he has Jack), and just talking and laughing about everything… and I’m not in a rush to make dinner by 6…

This year will be a bit different because we now have a condo in Steamboat Springs (a ski town in a beautiful mountain valley about 3 hours away from Denver), so we’ll now sit on my back deck while we watch the sun set… but you get the idea…

Oh friends, I hope this summer brings you all refreshment and renewal.  In this season of goodbyes, let’s also embrace the hellos that are coming our way.

Cheers to summer!!


7 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye, Saying Hello”

  1. I love ❤ this! It is all so what I’m feeling….not the Colorado part, but our paradise part of the world…New Zealand. Especially linking up with friends from a lifetime ago, the sound of the beach, long cold, and I also hear wet walks with friends and family, chatting like nothing has separated us for the past year, and a road trip to my mum and dad’s house…sadly just to visit my mum now.
    And then before we get enough time to say hi, we are saying ka kite ano (see you later).
    A return to our other see missing places at boot camp and the next party, with just not the same people around…but like friends to make and my trusty boot camp class that keeps me sane!
    Love you Becs! Thanks for your friendship and support this year…see you in August! 💕😚

    1. I’m so glad it resonated with you, Jo! 🙂 Love you too and love working out with you… have a WONDERFUL summer/winter??! holiday and we’ll come back in August refreshed & recharged. 🙂 xoxo

  2. Patricia Creekmore

    And your family here can not wait any longer to see you, Mark and those precious little ones, who are not so little any more! We plan our summer around your home leave and feel so LUCKY to have the chance to spend some qualiy time in the mountains with you! Get here safely and soon! Love to all, Pc & Rog

    1. And how lucky are WE that we get to spend time with you every summer??! I dearly count on it. I can’t tell you how much it thrills me that I finally get to host you & Rog… I will spoil you to death. 🙂 Love you so much and we’ll see you SOOOOONN!!!! xoxox

  3. Allison Anderson

    Sweet friend, your blog post today really blessed me! I know I don’t usually post a comment but today I just had to. It spoke to my heart to be careful not to become closed off to relationship because we have to say goodbye to people from one chapter to the next. I’m so grateful that I was able to start that journey with you all those years ago when you got locked out of your house! I hope it’s an easy trip to CO and can’t wait to catch up over a cup of coffee on cold mornings and pretend we’re on the same porch 🙂

    1. Ah, Allison… your comment warmed my heart! How often I walk the avenues in AAV & think of our many walks together so long ago, pushing our babies in strollers… 🙂 I’m so grateful our journey began together as well! These thoughts in my post are a reminder to me as well, to never shut myself off to opportunities to invest in friendships. It’s what we are meant to do… be in community. 🙂 Love you and and cannot wait to catch up!! xoxo

  4. Dear Bex….this is SO beautiful and true.
    It made me cry….the more so when I thought of our hellos and goodbyes.
    God bless
    Sal xxx

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