Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Airport goodbyes

Last week we had to say goodbye to some good friends of ours. They had moved here from Texas about two years ago, and by way of 'welcome to Australia' my mom had my sister stalk them until they handed over an address and phone number. The rest, as they say, is history. 



My sister and their oldest daughter got along really well, especially considering they were both immigrants and both spoke the same language of Goldfish, pumpkin pie, the distaste of uniforms and white Christmases. It was great to sit back and watch them chat and to see all their other friends be really confused. We often got together for family dinners at the beach, and during Thanksgiving they'd always stop by and drop off a pumpkin pie for us. 

Last Sunday, we drove to the airport to say goodbye. Their visa had run out, and it was time for them to leave despite the fact that no one but the government wanted them to. Tears were shed. Pictures were taken. Presents were given. And flights were caught. 

Unlike many others, I didn't cry and I haven't cried since. I wasn't even that sad. It wasn't because I didn't love the family; I did. It wasn't because I'm a heartless monster; I'm not. (Well, depending on who you talk to.)

I think it's because I've almost become immune to airport goodbyes, having been through so many myself on both the leaving and the staying end. Maybe at a certain point the calls of last flights and the gentle hum of the security conveyor belt wash over you but don't sink into your skin. Maybe I'm at that point. Or, maybe it's because gone, gone is such a terrible concept and I can't allow myself the luxury of attempting to understand it right now. 

In either case, I didn't cry and I haven't since, and I can't lie and say I'm sad. Gone hasn't sunk in quite yet. 

(After saying goodbye, we were walking out of the airport when one of our friends said, "Well, 2016 has sucked." I almost replied, "Actually, we've had the lowest level of maternal deaths overall this year, so that's pretty awesome," except I then realised he was not talking about maternal deaths but his personal life.  Needless to say, I'm very glad my mom jumped in and said something around the lines of, "I'm sure some nice things have happened as well.")

My family and a bunch of our friends went out for Mexican and gelato. Despite the fact that one of our group was gone, it was good to be with friends again, despite gone. 

Have you ever experienced an airport goodbye? What was the worst goodbye you've ever had to do? Talk to me in the comments!

4 comments:

  1. My worst goodbye?
    Saying goodbye to my German exchange student 'Jens'. He had been with my family for 12 months and he had really become a part of our family...

    I've been effectively an only child for most of my life and so I found having Jens around was such a great experience and it was probably the hardest goodbye I've ever had to do. Whenever I'm reminded of him I'm immediately saddened knowing that we may not meet again :(...

    I'd love to travel to Germany and visit him though.

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    1. 12 months is a long time! I bet it was really hard :( I'm glad you got to know him, though, and that he became part of your family. You should totally visit him one day! Thanks for commenting!

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  2. So, this is lame compared to yours and Brandon's, but leaving my service group after a week long servant event. We were from all over the country, so there's a good possibility I'll never see those people again.

    We had a last meeting at the hotel and were all trying to keep our acts together. I failed quiet epically and bawled, but I'm a crier by nature and I was running on 2 hours of sleep. *Hides face in shame*

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    1. Ha, it's not a competition! (But if it were I'd win ;)) That sounds super hard, especially knowing you probably won't see them again. And that's ok, I won't judge :)

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