It was obvious as we moved out of our home in Los Angeles, sold our belongings and packed our suitcases, that the mother of all goodbyes was at hand. We said group goodbyes, private goodbyes, e-mail and Facebook goodbyes. We had dinner goodbyes and party goodbyes. At work I started hearing, "Haven't you left yet?"
I've always been a bit of a sappy sentimentalist, so it was all pretty difficult for me, but watching my kids say theirs was really hard. They each had a small gathering with a few friends and, afterwards, as their guests and their parents drove off I'm not sure who cried more -- Owen and Ella or me.
One of the things that wasn't immediately apparent as we planned this year of traveling was that for each new place, each new friend, favorite spot; there is yet another goodbye. Duh -- right? This revelation occurred to us in Serbia; our first goodbyes from the road. (I'm writing this as I sip the homemade rakija given to us by our friend Zvonko.)
Tonight Owen, wonderful, emotional, passionate, Owen, had a gut wrenching goodbye in Perth. He went to his last (please don't laugh -- he's very sad) Dungeons and Dragons night at the local game store where he's gone many times since we've nested here. Next week we move to Edinburgh, and I suppose he'll search for his own tribe once again. No matter what he finds in Edinburgh, or Madrid or Rome for that matter, tonight he had to say goodbye. Each place and each person stays with us and becomes a part of the whole journey.
I need to go now so I can pour a little more rakija and get a tissue.