I knew it was coming. I've been counting down the days with sadness and trying to prepare myself.
Good-byes are normal for us. It's just part of this life we've chosen. Moving every couple years. New friends. Old friends. Here today. Somewhere else tomorrow. It's always something new, but always the same old thing.
This one was different.
This was the closest friend I had on the island. The first person in our shop to try to include me and be my friend. The only person that cared whether I walked into work with a smile on my face, and if I didn't, made it a point to put one there. The only person to talk to me when my baby died, to acknowledge my baby, to talk to me like I was still a normal person when I returned to work.
I thought I was ready for it. I even made him some chocolate chips cookies for the long drive across the country with his dad, wrapped up with pretty tissue paper and ribbon.
I text him in the morning to remind him that I had something for him before he left. He was supposed to be dropping by work, so he was supposed to text me so I could meet him there after I left the gym. It just so happened that part of the base was on an unexpected shut down, so the gym was closed. I went home after work, determined to stay awake until I got the text that he was there. Around 11, he text me saying that he was back at his house and was leaving in an hour. I told him that I could just bring them to him, to make it easier on him, or that I could meet him on his way out. He has to come past my house anyway. But he insisted that he didn't have enough time.
He didn't have time for me or for cookies, and I felt like an idiot for wasting my time making them when I should have been sleeping. I tried to not let it get to me. I tried not to think about it. But I was super bummed. And when Bryan asked me what was wrong, I started crying. And then I got mad that I was crying. And then I got mad because Bryan didn't understand why I was crying about cookies and why I didn't want to talk about it because talking about it only made me cry more. So the afternoon ended with throwing the cookies across the room and crying myself to sleep.
Good-byes are normal for us, but that doesn't make them any easier....
On a brighter note, I took the dog for a walk this morning. Crunching through fallen leaves and chasing birds and bunnies in the early morning was so calming, especially after such a hard day and long night at work.
(I got those feet from here.)
He was watching the leaves fall from the trees.
You see that hydrangea up there? Those are one of my favorite flowers. I had some blue ones on our front porch after we lost Brake in April, so they remind me of him when I see them. When we moved to this new place in August, I was sooo happy to see these blooming outside our front door. They make me smile. If you notice in the picture, there's a huge blue one and the rest are all faded pinks and purples. This little guy has hung on for so long, through some really nasty cold nights, and it doesn't look like his color is going anywhere anytime soon. I noticed it one night when I was very exhausted and dreading going into work. I smiled when I saw it, and somewhere inside I heard this tiny little voice saying "Just hold on a little longer."
Yesterday when things were so bad and all I wanted to do was lay in bed and cry because I was so mad about crying in the first place, I found this laying on my front step in a pile of pretty yellow leaves:
And once again I heard that tiny voice, "Just hold on a little longer....."