Hello and goodbye

12 years ago I boarded a plane from Calgary back to Brussels and I was crying my eyes out after the goodbyes from all my Canadian host families and friends. When I had left Belgium a year before, I had known that the goodbye was only for a year. This time I had no idea who I'd ever see again, when I'd see people again, who would still write me, .... Getting on that plane not knowing whether I'd see my friends and families again was almost impossible to grasp. I cried and cried and stewardesses on the plane came to ask me worriedly whether they could help me.

Only 3 months later one of my host sisters 'left' her school group travelling through Europe and took the train from Paris to Belgium to visit me for a weekend. The next summer my host brother came over for 2 weeks and my first host parents paid me a brief visit. 2 years later I went back for a long summer to Canada and in 2004 Jan could discover my 2nd home country.

In the mean time we live in a world of internet and e-mail that enable us to keep closer contact with each other. Some contacts have vanished completely whereas others still remain regular or have resurfaced surprisingly thanks to skype, msn and facebook. Right now I am very well informed of schoolmates birthdays, children, .... Visits have become less regular, but nevertheless they won't disappear either. Goodbyes are still hard, but I've learned to trust that I will see my true friends again. It might take some time but we always do meet again somewhere in the world.

Last weekend we were hosting my "host brother-in-law" (so my hostsister's husband) who was travelling through Europe. We showed him around and did a lot of similar things as we did when his wife Lisa was with us 1,5 years ago. And today we said goodbye already again....for probably at least 2 years as it is highly unlikely that he'll make it to our wedding. Another goodbye for another long period. I'll never really learn how to say goodbye. Pfff.... Yet I feel gratefull for the weekend and the friendships that do last. See ya next time buddy!!!!! Somewhere....sometime.....

Comments

Lilacspecs said…
Yeah, living far away from loved ones is not easy at all.
It's wonderful to have the internet, though... so different from the penpals that I grew up with! I'd wait months for the next letter.

My Swedish "daughter" is arriving Saturday for a few days, and my Japanese daughter is coming on September 4th, and my German daughter will visit in October! It's truly wonderful in all respects.

BTW... I wasn't on Facebook at the times you checked in - I'd left it up... I may be just leaving it up these days, so my apologies if I don't respond. Huge hugs!