My husband is listening to old Willie Nelson-esque music in the next room.
It's ruining the reflective, pensive, mournful tone I have felt burgeoning all week for this post.
I was dreading this post.
Wasn't sure I could find the words.
It's down-right impossible to summon the proper, sobering words with your toe tapping without your personal go-ahead!
And then there's the issue with my husband himself.
I glace up to find him wiggling an eyebrow and winking at me while some bygone love song goes lilting, drawling, droning on.
*Sorry, hon, no tiger in these tight fitting jeans. Only a growl about being up since 5am and the jaded comeback that the jeans are tight from too many Puerto Rican pastries.*
So, if I happen to start spouting lines about trains, pick-ups, hound dogs and such...
You were warned.
The goodbyes were hard.
Harder than packing for five people.
Harder than entertaining a toddler on a 4.5 hour flight.
Harder than feeling comfortable in public in a swimming suit.
We put them off until the last minute.
Hiding in our little guest house, packing.
Avoiding extended eye contact.
Playing and eating as if it were a normal day.
Knowing it wasn't.
Knowing farewells were inevitable.
Like sappy emotion in an old country song.
We love these people so much.
They made us feel so loved.
These kids are the sweetest and I miss them so much.
I felt I did so little to earn their affection but when we briefly discussed plans for our departure the day before we left, Joycie burst out with, "Ti Ti Raimie, what will we do without you!"
I love that girl.
In that moment I glimpsed how hard the goodbyes were gonna be. I knew there would be tears, I felt them rising for two days like the tank on a beat up pick-up truck. My eyes were all fueled up and ready to run.
I held it together until my Joycie girl cracked the first tear. Then that was it. I was a goner. Tears. Hugs. Blotchy faces all around.
It's hard because we know we won't see them again for a long while. I hate that I won't see them grow. We won't be there for all their birthdays. I can't have them over to do a crafty project whenever we choose.
We are family but our lives go on in separate places.
Even the sky was crying.
--Ok, there it is. I knew those floods of bittersweet memories were in there somewhere. Somewhere between the line walking and rings of fire.--
Even at the airport I couldn't let myself think about it. Just check the schedules, put the snack in the toddler's hand, make it past the hound dogs at security, untangle T-boy from the ticket counter barrier line.
But there were these eyes. My girl's eyes.
Blue eye's crying in the--
No. Not here.
She would look at me with those eyes, bury her face in my neck and say in an almost incoherent whisper, "But mama, I'll miss them so much!"
All I could say through my own tears was, "Me too, honey, me too."
A Salty Eyed Hen in NE