Written while sitting in Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, and I discovered that I was twirling my hair...
This time around I haven’t said goodbye. I am not really sure why. I don’t know if I have been so focused on the practical matters of life that I haven’t had time to see past closing up bank accounts and packing bags to hug my hugs and say my goodbyes.
I think I’ve moved too much. My heart is tired of bonding quickly, finding similarities, sharing joys and living life and then having to pack up my relationships in a TSA approved bag and say goodbye. Connecting with people and discovering that I really connect and then never seeing them again.
This time is even harder.
I was teasing a pregnant friend about naming her daughter a name that Scott and I had considered for a future child. In her matter of fact way she said,
“Are our children ever going to know each other?” She’s right. If they move to the states they are going to Texas. Not California. Not Colorado. Not even Chicago. None of the places that my life seems to orbit. It stung, not that she said it, or even the way she said but because it’s the truth. They won’t.
One of my best friends from college twirls her hair in a particular way. Around her ring finger. The tendril will whip around in a peculiar helicopter like fashion. When I am very deep in thought I will find myself fwipping my hair around my ring finger as if my thoughts are going to propeller me right off the ground.
I have a friend in Nairobi that’s from Myrtle Beach. When I am around her I find myself fighting back the urge to imitate her bright southern accent. An accent that makes you think, ‘Yes I will have a set down on the veranda and drink a mint julep.’ (And she is probably cringing right now as she reads that.) It is exactly her fault that when I greet my daughter with a big grin and say, ‘Sweet girl!’ I am hearing the way she does it in my head with her belled voice.
I think that’s problem, this time around I am realizing that these people make an imprint on me. I pick up their mannerisms, I appropriate their sayings. Scott and I have stories that encompass their lives. We were there for the birth of their kids, they were there for Emma’s birth. Friends before were there for my college graduation. Were there to watch me walk down the aisle. And now so many of them aren’t a presence in my life, except for the occasional Facebook status change.
Three Saturdays ago we moved from our apartment into our friends the Nipper’s house. Keturah hugged me that night on her way out the door, and as she did she said, ‘See you later.’ As I saw her profile as she let go of our hug I realized, ‘oh, that was goodbye.’ Now I know why she said, ‘see you later,’ some of us have said goodbye too much.
So to all those in Nairobi that are reading this, ‘See you later.”