Good-byes have always been hard for me but today, it’s the hardest good-bye I’ve had to say for a long, long time. I’ve knew this day would come, ever since we first welcomed Mimi and Brianne into our home one year ago. The plan was always to stay just one year. 365 days. I have to admit though, there was always that spark of hope in me….the hope that they would fall so in love with Northern California again that they would decide to stay here for good. They would move into our neighborhood, the girls would keep attending the same school together, and we would all live harmoniously and happily ever after.
Well, sadly….that’s not happening. Maybe one day, we’ll have that fairy tale story upon us but today…well, today, I had the long dreaded task of taking Mimi and Brianne to the airport to see them off.
I’ve tried not to think about this day for the past few weeks, even as I watch them pack their things, and even as we remind the girls over and over again that they would be separated by an ocean far too big in just a few short weeks. I’ve tried to hold back my tears as I imagine what life would be like without them in our home.
I have no words to describe the void that’s in my heart right now. If someone took an X-ray of me, they would probably find a gigantic hole smack in the center of my heart. It’s hard for me to imagine what life will be like for us now…and more importantly, how will Bridgette cope without her sidekick?
Despite the sadness, I am also immensely grateful. Grateful that what began as a rocky year between my sister and I turned out to be one of the best and most blessed years of my life. For 36 years, I never had the opportunity (or time, or wisdom, or ability) to get to know my sister. I know that sounds a bit silly considering that we grew up pretty much in the same household and even shared a bedroom for many years, but it’s true. I realize that after all these years, I’ve never understood her on a deeper level…I simply saw her for who she has been on the surface.
This year, we had the chance to get to know one another on a whole new level. We opened up our hearts, and our vulnerabilities to each other, and for that, we are blessed beyond words.
Within one year’s time, we’ve built an abundance of memories for ourselves and our little girls, memories that will undoubtedly hold a special place in our hearts for many years to come. Our home has been so much more lively, and warmer, simply by their presence. I feel deeply, deeply grateful.
Life won’t be the same now, but then again, how has life ever been the same anyways? The world is changing every day, and if only we know how little time we have with our loved ones, we would probably shift our priorities a bit more.
Tonight, as Alan, Bridgette and I tried to comfort each other’s sense of loss, we also reminded each other how lucky we were to have been able to host Mimi and Brianne for an entire year. The quality time we had with them was immeasurably precious, and we would never trade that for anything.
Thank you Mimi and Brianne, for teaching us so much about love this year, and bringing so much joy and happiness with you into our home. We will cherish all the sweet moments we shared, and look forward to more adventures ahead. And I must thank Brian, my brother in law, for allowing his beloved family to spend this amazing year with us! I know it hasn’t been easy for him to be separated from them, and his selflessness is very admirable!