Finally, the tables have been turned on me.
After years of moving cities/states/countries with alarming regularity, this week I finally get to know how it feels to have someone leave ME.
I don't like it at all.
Two years ago, after living in Saltillo for about 6 months and desperate for friends, I was stalking all Blogger accounts registered in Saltillo, hoping to stumble upon potential quality friends. (Yes, I am THAT kind of stalker!) I was pretty interested in a missionary family, but after trolling farther down the list, I stumbled upon her: we were born within a month of each other, had our first children (both girls) within 4 months of each other, were married and moved to Mexico within two months of each other . . . I HAD to get to know this woman!
I send her a message, and she must have been just about as excited to meet me, as she called me the very next day. Turned out, I was the first person she was able to speak English with since she moved to Mexico (in almost two years).
We've had a great two years and have found a lovely community of other ex-pats in the meantime. (I've also found some Mexican friends, too. Whew!)
But, for a variety of good reasons, last fall my friend and her husband decided to apply for a resident visa for her husband, so they could move to the US. It's been a long, insane, headache-inducing process and, after 3 trips to Ciudad Juarez for visa appointments, my friend's husband finally got his visa last month. They gave themselves a month to pack up their life here, say their goodbyes, and oh-so-appropriately be in the US in time for the 4th of July.
That month just ended. They're gone. Entire days go by where my phone doesn't even ring once. *sigh* (OK, it rang just a little bit ago, at a time when my friend often calls, and I thought to myself, "Who on earth is calling me? It can't be ________. Who else would call me?" So thanks, Panchita for the call--it's good to know I do have other friends!) ;)
But really, all month (or ever since last fall when they announced their plans), I haven't focused on my own sadness of losing them. After all, as already mentioned, I've moved so many times and left so many people, that I know how it goes. Life goes on. I was mostly worried about Clara and how she'd take the change. After all, she's always talking about my friend's daughter. Often when a bus drives past the house, she asks to take a bus ride to visit her friend. While Clara might have no idea what "goodbye" means, I did. I feared for both girls. After all, it's not every day that you say goodbye to your first friend.
Good thing that their move was timed so close to our visit to my parents' house, so I could at least explain to her that her friend was going to take an airplane ride (just like Clara did) so stay with her grandparents (just like Clara did). Then I mention that Friend will be living with her grandparents and not coming back. Now that they've left, she talks about Friend being with her Grandma. Whenever she hears an airplane, she talks about Friend being on the airplane. So, I think that in her two-year-old way, she is getting it.
We'll see what happens when weeks go by and she doesn't get to see her little friend.
But, however painful goodbyes are, I am really very excited for my friend and her family on their new adventure and am anxiously looking forward to hearing how they transition to life in the US. That will be another story worth the telling!