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« Happy New Year, Hogmanay and Auld Lang Syne | Main | Pic For The Day - Frosty Spiderweb »

Another Goodbye

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.)

Owen and Ella on their last walk in our old California neighborhood.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.

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Reader Comments (9)

It's an awfully ironic thing we do as travelers, searching and finding what we're looking for and always moving on with sadness and glee.

Jan 5, 2010 at 5:49 PM | Unregistered CommenterKeith

Darinka and I are having a rakija in Owens honor.


Jan 5, 2010 at 7:31 PM | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Hi Bob...We appreciatet that you all have been so faithful to your blog. I read it regularly and love it. There is a great universal appeal in all of you guys' posts.

What are your feelings now about post-production? Do you think you'll go back to it when/if you return? Do you still have that same knee-jerk reaction that you expressed before you left? Or, has it taken on a glow of nostalgia? Well, maybe not that... Have you thought about teaching?

You set out on a path of self-discovery and we can all see the wonderful experiences there have been for each of you. There were some excellent posts projecting yourselves into the future looking back from when you and Brenna are in your seventies and about why you decided to take this year long sojourn. Do you have answers, partial answers? What is the secret of life?

What about winter... are you guys still loving it? I know I am but, although it does get snowy here and we have to have a fire going at night to keep us warm - no central heating here - we have sun most days which takes the sting out of winter weather.

Cheers to you all, especially to Owen and his Dungeons and Dragons. He must be meeting some amazing dungeon masters. We'd love to hear about that sometime. I played in college and my son played throughout junior high. I'm sure that Owen's D&D character has gained a lot of experience on this trip and he is sure to gain still more. I bet Owen plays wicked game these days using everything he has learned and seen so far... a new adventure awaits!


Jan 5, 2010 at 8:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterCatt

Yeah man...
I wouldn't have thought of that either. I'm sure it'll be useful for everyone to have learned 'goodbye' ... at some point ... later ... but still. Glad you have each other. You all remain (maybe more now) my heroes.

Gunga Gulunga,
...The Lama...

Jan 5, 2010 at 10:05 PM | Unregistered CommenterYo Lama

I am having Bourbon in Owens honor ...

More to come ...
Love to you all ...


Jan 5, 2010 at 10:15 PM | Unregistered CommenterDad

Good byes are hard. Hang in there Redpath Fam. Owen, I'll bet you plug in real quick in your new town. Be patient with your mommy and sister. Oh, and your daddy too. Keep on keeping on.
Peace, Wh

Jan 5, 2010 at 11:01 PM | Unregistered Commenternoho1960

Ever notice how the stuff that's really real doesn't take up any space in your suitcase?

Jan 6, 2010 at 8:00 AM | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Sorry, wasn't done.
My brother says we take vacations not to visit places, but to enable ourselves to view our own lives from a distance, to experience the perspective that distance provides.
Perhaps it is the separation of distance and time that teach us to be human. To say "I love you" when you mean it and hold things close that are dear.
Your family is teaching us so much...

Jan 6, 2010 at 8:03 AM | Unregistered CommenterNicole

For those of us who love all of you so very we watch you say your goodbys and hurt with you.
Owen and Ella,
I know how much it hurts you to say goodby to your friends because I hurt like that every time I have to say goodby to you. Carry all those wonderful friends you have made in your heart always. Collect emails, and addresses and write to them, send pictures and collect pictures. Try not to loose touch with all these wonderful fun and exciting kids you have met .Everyone you get to know becaomes a small part of who you are,
Owen, my love, you are the type of person everyone would love to know. You have so many amazing talents, so many stories to tell, so much to offer other friends. Friends are everywhere, you just have to open yourself to them and you do that naturally.
Your Nana June hasl earned a lot from you in that respect. It is ok to be sad about leaving your friends, that isa part of life.

Jan 8, 2010 at 6:42 AM | Unregistered CommenterMom

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