I have been putting off writing this post for weeks now. My first dilemma was the title idea. I have been toying with using ‘Bittersweet Goodbyes Part #...’. However, that just felt too final. One of my biggest hang-ups with this cruising thing is the idea of saying good-bye to people I care about. Now, I know this is never easy for anyone…but I feel like I am just extra sensitive about it these days. Perhaps it is because I know that I have a lot to give out in these coming months, or it could just be because of things from my past. Who knows?! My other dilemma is that I just don’t feel like crying!!! (FAIL!) Needless to say, I will not be writing this post with a tasty adult beverage in hand. I don’t need to add any fuel to my emotions!
In April we took what will likely be our last trip up to San Francisco. I always spoke of my time there with such distaste. It was ALWAYS cold and it just never felt like home to me. However, I made some truly amazing friends up there that I hope to have for the rest of my life. The simple reality is that I can’t imagine we will ever go back there. Once we start cruising in January, we just won’t be making the trip up anymore.
Our trip up was epic. We spent 10 days visiting friends and had an amazing time. We spent most of our nights at Matt and Brandy’s house and it was just like ol’ times. Meals were made, cocktails were poured (and poured and poured and poured), lots of laughs and an occasional tear mixed in. Stories were traded with all of our San Francisco sailing gang. We had fun dreaming about what to buy at the Richmond Boat Show with John and Ramona. Many a trip was made into the city to visit Chris’s old office, as many of our friends as we could, and my former teacher colleague’s/family. Stories of administrator/dictator woes were met with great sympathy and admiration. Wine was snuck into the park as we all enjoyed a rare day in the warm sun. Everything was just like I had never left…..except when I finally had to. How do you say goodbye to these people who have become my family? I hope I will see them all again, but my fear is that they will become the fondest of memories through days of silly photo gazing. The invitation for them to come visit me anywhere around the world is an honest one. But, I can’t buy the ticket for them. So all I can do is hope and let life take us where it must.
|Denton, Lily, Megan, Tessa, and I...just like the good ol' days!!!|
Shhh! Don't tell anyone what's in that cup ;)
|Glenda, Brandy, The Hesitant Half, Ramona, John|
Every year we lived in San Francisco we would surprise/embarrass Brandy for her birthday at the boat show. She hated it, but I know she is going to miss it next year :)
On Chris’s way home south from San Francisco he dropped me off at my parents house and the next day I departed for a trip up to Canada. My dad’s side of the family lives up there and my Great Aunt Ann and Uncle Henry aren’t doing to well. They are both in high spirits, but the cruelty of time has started to take her toll. I went up there knowing that this would likely be my last trip up. Fondness for the farm house instantly returned the second the front door opened and I smell the wood furnace and sausages boiling on the stove. It had been over 10 years since my last visit, but things were just as I had remembered. Honey buns every morning and extreme over eating the rest of the time. My cousin Kelly spontaneously joined us and made for an awesome addition to our trip. We spent time with family every day. Uncle Henry was always excited to see us when we would stop by his assisted living home. Perhaps it was because he knew that I was sneaking in chocolate and beer for him! Stories were shared of times long ago and the bond that is shared between family was built even stronger. My cousins that I haven’t seen in over 10 years became my closest of friends over night. We laughed until we cried and enjoyed amazing adventures together. It is funny how much time can pass between visits and it feels like I have always been there. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful family that gets along as well as we do and genuinely relishes our time together. Upon leaving it was even more difficult. Aunt Ann is 84 and Uncle Henry is 88. As I received my last firm hug from my aunt she told me that she loves me and that the next time I see her or Uncle Henry will be in heaven. I completely lost it (much as I am again writing this), but this is the reality of life. Time can be cruel so all we can do is enjoy our time today as best as we can. This part of the trip was magical and I have formed memories that will bring me happiness for the rest of my life.
|Uncle Henry enjoying a delicious beer that I smuggled in for him|
|The Canadian Family enjoying dinner at my Aunt's favorite restaurant|
As our time in San Diego comes to an end I know that I will have many more family and friends that I will have to say farewell to. I doubt I will see some of them again but I am learning to take comfort in knowing that the time that I share with people changes me and makes me better forever.
Life has taken me to amazing places and it will continue to do so and I promise…I’ll tell you all about it when I see you again.