Good byes stink.
Over the past week, our family has had to say good-bye too many times; good-bye to classmates and teachers, ice cream shop owners, flower men, favorite waiters and of course to dear friends. We’ve had our final swim at the pool, last slide down the slide and ride on our bikes. We watched as the movers packed the last box and drove away with our belongings.
This week has not been an easy one.
Tuesday marked the girls last day of school. It was heart breaking. Our oldest, finishing the 3rd class, had a very hard time. As soon as she left the school, the tears were flowing. Her friends surrounded her, hugging and crying along with her. We made one last tour of the school, saying good-bye to teachers, classroom, art and photos – everything that was important to her.
A bit later, we picked up our middle tartlet from the Kindergarten. Her good byes were a bit more cheery. She was excited to show us her Schuletüte she made (it will be filled with sweets and surprises on her first day of 1st grade) with her teacher and tell us about her day. There weren’t many tears, though they did come later.
We continued our end of the school year tradition and went out for lunch. The girls talked about what they will miss from Germany and what they are looking forward to in the States. We were able to say good-bye to our favorite waiter and were given free ice cream from the girls favorite ice cream shop. More good byes and a few more tears.
Needless to say, everyone was emotionally exhausted. The oldest and youngest fell asleep as soon as we were home – and the middle and I watched the last of the boxes leave the apartment and drive off to Nuremberg. Such a strange feeling sitting in an empty apartment. Suddenly, it doesn’t feel like home.
Though it is hard to say good-bye, the difficulty only reminds us of how much we LIVED here and enjoyed every part of our expat life. We are so fortunate that our life abroad was full of amazing friends and experiences!
To Our Friends,
From the beginning, our family was welcomed into your lives, complete strangers, unable to speak the language, unfamiliar with your culture. You invited us to your homes, you helped us buy kitchens and find doctors, you encouraged our children and you were there for a laugh, an ear to bend or a shoulder to cry on.
Some friendships started early and others late, some never had a chance to blossom while others ended way too soon. Regardless of which friend you are, I must tell you, I’ve felt blessed to have you in my life!
I will miss the Kindergarten pick up and chatting with new friends. What a fun group of families! If only we had met earlier and had a chance to really get to know each other. It is yet, another reminder, to step out of my comfort zone and try to befriend people before time slips away.
I still and always will cherish those friendships that ended to soon and without warning. The kindness and generosity will never be forgotten, nor the fact that you welcomed my family into your lives so unselfishly. From broken bones to the birth of our little Regensburger, you were there. Though stubbornness and pride may have been the downfall of our friendship, I will always think highly of you and remember you fondly.
Oh, my DG friends! This last year, though it was short, has been packed full of memories! I’ll never forget our laughs at P’s for “Mom’s Night Out” or chasing all the crazy kiddos around the Spielplatz. Giggling at yoga when we couldn’t balance – and the conversations afterward. Biergartens, breakfasts, FB chats… I will cherish those moments when we’ve laughed so hard we thought our sides would burst and our conversations – ranging from hilarious to somber – will always bring warmth to my heart. You girls are the family I choose. I love you and think you are amazing wives, mothers and friends. I look forward to keeping in touch over the year and our weekend away next summer.
You, my friends, will never be far from thought when I’m making Spätzle, enjoying a cocktail, at the park or any other “awesome” things we’ve shared . You all hold a special place in my heart, now and always.
I love you, my friends. And, with a very heavy heart, I say, “bis später.”