Monday, June 2, 2008

An empty house, a full heart - Saying Goodbye

When I was 13, my best friend Jason moved away. In the 80's, the only way of communicating that didn't cost an arm and a leg was by handwritten letter, which we did. Occasionally we could talk-- always before 7 a.m. or after 8 p.m. when the long distance rates were lower... we would talk until we practically fell asleep with the phone still attached to our ears!

Apparently this tradition will continue with my boys.

This is Em and Glenda a little over a year ago in one of their many goodbye hugs and giggles. Glenda and her sweet sister Nia (Ro's first friend) and mommy and daddy, moved to Sofia, Bulgaria where their parents are from. Their mom Russa and dad Mitko were wonderful friends of ours... and living just down the street, we were around each other daily. It was a very happy time in our lives.

The day their plane left, I ran to Best Buy to get a camera for my computer so that we could all keep up via Skype. I also now have a European calling card so we can keep up our hour-long chats... and next year we will be going to visit! I am so super excited and it's still 11 months away. Of course we also send small packages and letters and postcards and email photos as well. Em has a world map now so that he can better understand the difference between across town where NaNa and Oma live, and across the planet where his friends live.

A few months after Glenda and her family moved away, Dante and his family came into our lives. This American/Italian/German jumble of laughter helped Em heal and reconnect with a wonderful child, and for me, another great mommy friend with a sharp sense of humor to compliment mine. We had many laughing play dates of making cookies and coloring, splashing in the backyard wading pool, a trip to the Fillmore & Western Railway, Easter egg hunts...

Nothing stays the same of course and last month, Mariella told me that they would be moving back to Germany - leaving in one month! One month to pack up or sell everything and start another new chapter in their lives. The month went waaaaay to fast and they are already gone. Now that Em is older, he is taking it a little harder - realizing we cannot just walk down the street to visit. And even Ro knows that now, we pass "Daaaaannnttaaayyy's" house rather than stop in for a visit. If all goes well, we will keep the same Skype/calling card/letter routine we have become so used to and soon see them in Germany.

The emotions are raw here... I have deliberately not mentioned how much Russa and Mariella mean to me because I'm tired of crying about it and trying to think of the future while happily remembering the past.

I'm trying to look at it this way... now we get to visit our friends in Europe!