I am not good at hellos and good-byes. I get so excited to welcome someone here, but then equally sad when the realization sets in that I also have to say good-bye. My parents were here for a week and I just said good-bye on Monday. Last month I got to spend a week with my sister and brother. But once again the hello-and-good-bye process felt hard.
I am nothing but grateful that they would chose to fly down here to spend time with me. There is something about being together- sipping lattes in a garden café, walking by colored walls and laying by the lake that cannot be shared via skype and text messaging.
I am firm believer that sometimes just showing up is the best way to maintain relationships. Show up for his presentation at work. Show up at their new house with cookies. Show up at the hospital to welcome the little baby, and show up at the funeral to mourn together. Showing up is important.
Last week my parents showed up in Antigua. They showed up at my school with 60 5th and 6th graders asking them questions. They showed up to see my apartment. They showed up for long dinners with me and G. They showed up for coffee dates and chocolate tasting, for good conversations and sunny afternoons. They showed up to see my life here. And it meant the world to me, especially since a lot in my life has changed in the past year.
I have much to be thankful for. There is a beauty to embrace and a challenge to accept living in a new place, within a new language and culture and country. I know it means there will be more good-byes to people I love, and probably some exciting hellos as well. My friend Carrie, has this quote on her blog from Miriam Adeney, an anthropologist and global studies guru:
“You will never be completely at home again, because part of your heart always will be elsewhere. That is the price you pay for the richness of loving and knowing people in more than one place.”
This is how I feel. Indeed there is a price to pay for loving and knowing people in more than one place.
Mom, Dad, Steph and Andrew, Thanks for coming to visit!
(Christine, you were here in spirit)