Over the past two weeks, we’ve literally said “see you soon” to practically everyone we know and love. (Goodbye = way too ridiculous. I can’t say goodbye. I hate it. Always have. I’d much prefer to ride off into the sunset on a horse with my back to everyone so I can’t see them cry and them, me. You know, good old cowboy style.)
This weekend was especially tough. It was the final hurrah. Our parents very kindly threw a little get together at Chickie’s & Pete’s – a Philadelphia staple – on Sunday afternoon. Kenny was taking the over / under on the time at which I would first cry. Considering that I already cried three times the morning of the party, any time within the first 15 minutes was a pretty safe bet. I did really well. I didn’t cry until the party was almost over. And then, pretty much didn’t stop the rest of the day. I didn’t cry continuously…but when I would stop to think, the waterworks started.
The enormity of what we’re doing set in. When I think of all the wonderful people that have helped shape and continue to make a mark on who we are today – all of us – me, Kenny, Gavin and Grace – the fact that we’re moving 2,866.8 miles away is overwhelming. Parents, family, friends, bosses, co-workers, acquaintances, favorite check out gal at Giant…it’s just nuts. And kind of brave. I don’t really feel brave, and never thought of it that way, but someone said that to me this weekend and I think they are kind of right. It’s a little bit of a brave thing to do. I think I will learn alot. And do new and different things I never have before.
So far, I’ve learned:
- I hate crying with my immediate family. I can cry with Kenny. I can cry with my in-laws. I can cry with relatives and friends. But I simply will not let myself cry with my mom, dad or brothers. Other than Kenny and my best girlfriend Megan, these should be the people I most comfortable crying with. Nope. I won’t let myself do it. Who’s a freakshow? This gal. This gal with the two thumbs (points to self). I’ll blame this stoic personality glitch on Grandmom Risnychok, my great grandmother from the Ukraine.
- I like to think of this in chunks vs. moving across the country for ever and ever amen. It’s much less daunting if I think, OK, great, we’re going to Portland for a few weeks, then I’ll be home for Christmas. Who knows when I’ll be home after that, but for now, this way of thinking works. Haha!
Leaving our house for the final time on Sunday night was the pits. Really. It was so incredibly emotional. And it was just me, Kenny and the kids there. This was our first place, the home to which we brought our children, and started raising them. So much had happened there…
We put the kids in the car and spent a moment alone – as we had first come into this house – hugging each other. We cried. And cried. And cried. And held on to each other and hoped we were doing the right thing. Only time will tell. We walked with each other to the electric blue rented mini-van and hugged our kids. Hard.
And Gavin – our ever poignant four-year old – looked at his father and said, ‘Dad – are you scared?’ and Kenny said ‘Yes, buddy, I am scared.’ Gavin replied, ‘Dad, when you are scared, just give someone you love a big hug.’ and he reached his little arms up and wrapped them around Kenny’s head. (Yes, his head. Not his neck. If I said neck, you’d probably think I was pulling your leg because the moment would have been almost too perfect.) Regardless, he nailed it. His wise four-year old soul nailed the moment. And it’s the way I will always remember leaving our first home.