Two weeks before we left we got to say our goodbyes to Betsy and her boyfriend Mike. We had a great day and parted company in the parking lot of Front era’s. A week later we were saying goodbye to David. Those visits with Betsy and David were perfect. We got to tell them the practical things they needed to know about us being gone and we all shared the personal things we were feeling. Tears and hugs.
During the two or three days prior to leaving we were consumed with packing, repacking, and weighing suitcases, moving other possessions up to our storage unit, and giving the rest away. I took a break from it all on Wednesday when my sister, Marilyn, came over. We went to lunch and when we returned Marilyn helped me put the final touches on packing, including coming up with strategies for what to pull out of either suitcase and put in my backpack if the suitcases were too heavy. This was useful advice as it turned out. Leaving Marilyn who is both my sister and my good friend was hard and there were tears.
The next morning, not wanting to take any chance on missing the plane, we got to the airport extra early. When we left, Tish’s mom said her goodbyes in the kitchen. Still in her pajamas, she gave us each a hug and I could see that she was crying as she hugged Tish. Tish’s mother had offered to drive but we felt it made more sense for our friend Jan to take us. Jan is a good friend, really more like Tish’s sister, and will be missed. She was a regular participant of our Friday night movie outings. She dropped us off with plenty of time to spare and there were still more tears.
In a way it was good to be on the plane and on our way, all the goodbyes behind us. It seems like we have been saying goodbye for the last six months.