Singapore Adventure

Thursday, June 09, 2005

My Little Good-byes (Venitha)
by jima

(A margarita as big as your head at Cafe Iguana will be rewarded to anyone who knows where this title comes from. Must be redeemed in Singapore.)

Ever since we moved to Colorado 14 years ago now, I've hated the way that visits to family back in Wisconsin became mass movements of my entire family from one location to another, my siblings and I degenerating into 12-year-olds by the end of the second day back in the herd. Preferring one-on-one time, I've worked hard in recent years to ensure that such trips allow as much individual time with everyone as possible; as a result, visits have become much more enjoyable, and I've managed to remain close to my siblings in spite of the distances separating us.

So in spite of the recommendations from experienced expats to have one, or a few, large going-away parties to say many good-byes at once, Jim and I opted for numerous small get-togethers, more intimate and more enjoyable. Unfortunately, this resulted in a long drawn out period of good-byes, which has been very wearing emotionally. Every day for the last two weeks before our Singapore departure, I said good-bye to yet another friend or family member. Hugs, smiles, good wishes, and lots of tears. And, of course, we saved the best (really, worst) for last: Maggie (our dog) and Marilyn (Jim's mom). It's a relief now to be on our way so we can reverse our focus from what we're leaving behind to what we're looking toward.

It all seems a bit overly dramatic, of course. We're only planning to be gone for two years, and it could potentially be much shorter than that. We're planning to return to Colorado and to resume our lives there just where we're now leaving off. But it's naive to think that we won't change through this experience - and even more so to think that our friends and families won't change while we're gone. Who will have moved away? Who will have more children? What events will we miss in the lives of our beloved nieces and nephews? Who will have gotten married?...divorced? Who will have died?

Life goes on, for all of us, and if nothing else, that makes all of the heart-wrenching good-byes of the last two weeks worth it.