I am too cluttered to take in anymore information, my brain is cloudy and I must welcome the rains that will clear the sky.
I mostly feel shaky now and I don't if it is because I almost vomited during the descent or because I just said goodbye to my family. I'm perched on a stool in Caribou Coffee in a terminal in Denver International Airport waiting for Scott's plane to descend. I haven't cried yet, the tears jump up in little spurts but in the name of decency I cap them. I was the last stand by passenger to get on the plane, so I spent most of the flight on the tip of my seat being thankful and in stunted disbelief that I was actually in the air.
Ever since we found out that we were moving to Nairobi I feel like I'm having an out-of-body experience. As if I've been lifted out of myself and was watching my life as a bystander. This weekend was no different; I'm not sure I had an emotion for four days straight. During conversations my mind get kept running loops over what still remained to be done for our departure. Paperwork, visas, health insurance, shopping, stress, packing....Maybe that was my way of coping. My way of dealing questions that needed so much background information that I didn't know where to start, my way of assuaging my family's fears, or my way of explaining and not really explaining why we are leaving. Mostly I didn't even realize that Scott and I were going to California to say goodbye until the last moment when we were getting in the car to drive to the airport and my mother-in-law said through choked tears, 'I know how hard it is to say goodbye.' How dissasociated am I that I didn't even realize that was what was happing.
This weekend culminated in being with my well-traveled friends from college. Three of whom have connections to Kenya or have been to Africa or have lived overseas. I could relax with these that have seen Africa, let down my excuses, my desire to pretend that I have all the answers. I could admit I'm scared, that I don't know, that I don't have all the answers (lest people begin to think that since I have negative emotions that I should not go). That I may not be safe or okay all the time, but that I am in God's hands and even if I'm mugged there are things that no man can take from me. Friends whom I have had to hold onto loosely because our lives have taken me away fromt them. Relationships that will remain precious for the rest of our lives. I have taken deep joyful breathes watching us all end up in love with our own personal Adonises. Men who cherish our foibles and perfections. Men who share our dreams. Even though those dreams are no more than amorphous clouds.
We get together and initially ask mundane questions and then stare at each other knowing there is so much more. Not remembering if they have a job or not but wanting to know if their heart is aching or happy. So far I think we're either happy or on the mend.
I haven't cried yet, when Joy left the rental car shuttle for her terminal I let a few tears fall. Sitting here I'm still numb and in shock, that may be owed to the busy-ness of the weekend. We jostled from one social engagement to the next family home to the next county in Southern California I was too distracted by the landscape or surreality of a return 'home' to cry. 'Has the sky always been that smoggy?' 'Could I ever live here again?' 'Would life ever bring me back here to stay?'
In between my longings for the ocean and my confusion over 'home' I never really stopped to notice what was happening until I hugged my father. Still didn't cry. I know I will see all these people again. Potentially the same amount of time will pass in between the next time and the last time.
* * *
I'm sitting here waiting for Scott to get back from backpacking in Wyoming with several friends. The ache and the anticipation is tangible. How is this that you fall in love with someone and can literally spend all your time with them? You feel whole before you ever met this person and then you meet them and they leave for a weekend and you feel like part of you is missing?
I didn't cry until Johnson's Village, the truck stop right before our town, and then I cried. Big, fat, rolling tears. Scott was holding my hand and said, 'It's good to cry,' but I know that. Crying is honoring the people you are leaving, your tears say that you love them and will miss them. I found those tears to be cleansing.
This week brought two large harbingers of international movement. We sold my car, my first car that I have ever owned. After handing over the car I said to Scott, 'I feel weird,' because that was the first visible sign that we're going. The other sign was the purchase of our tickets, audible cheer! We've whittled away at our to do list and are now left with a few little shopping items and some paperwork. Oh, and we have to pack. Just a small task, really.