say hello, wave goodbye

This week I had the bittersweet pleasure of hello and goodbye with these women.

They are each so dear to me – one a sister, one a daughter – both friends of my heart.

As Kristina was about to join the (mercifully short) line to go through security, she teared up, saying she wasn’t ready – she wasn’t ready to leave us all: her dog, her boyfriend, her family, her home.

She’ll be back in a month, but in this minute, that is small comfort when the week stormed by us in a flurry of activity, much as we knew it would. And she loves her college, her friends, her independence. This is not about that.

I kept it together – me sobbing into her freshly-ginger hair wouldn’t have helped.

It wasn’t until we were on the way home from the airport, when Ed asked if I would like to stop for ice cream or a chai, that something shook loose.

My heart latched onto that idea.

I wasn’t ready either – I wasn’t ready to go home to a house without her in it, after she had filled it with her bright energy, her friends, with voices and clothes everywhere and laughter.

Not quite yet.

So we stopped by a neighbourhood Starbucks. I sipped a chai, checked the Delta site on my phone for her departure status, and teared up frequently as I waved goodbye in my head.

It wasn’t like this when I left her at Ithaca at the end of August.

But tonight, my heart feels wrung out.

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