11 July 2011

Ode to a Departing Friend

Today is the last day that my neighbor LJ and her family will be in the house across the street. They are embarking on a great adventure: moving to Hong Kong for work reasons. Even if they decide to return to the States after the first year of her husband's contract is completed, they probably won't come back here because they have family in other parts of the country. So this is the last day that we will be seeing LJ, her husband, and their lovely kids.

Although most people find me to be at turns antisocial, moody, or sarcastic, what even my best friend Rabbit doesn't know is that I am a watery mess when it comes to goodbyes. Perhaps all those 1930s melodramas I've watched since I was a kid have trained me to cry when people leave -- I don't know. All I know is that I woke up this morning feeling weepy and sad.

My melancholy is compounded by the fact that I know LJ and her family have been much better friends to me than I have been to them. For a while, LJ's daughter was the adorable little sister that C1 never had and kept her company on many a lonely Saturday when the neighborhood teens decided they were too cool to come to our house. LJ's son was a great companion for DJ; even though he is an athlete who plays several sports, he also enjoyed playing video games and watching anime with my non-athletic son. As for me, I know that I would have indulged my broody, slightly agoraphobic tendencies during my bouts of unemployment if LJ hadn't been knocking on my door regularly to ask me a knitting question or to bring us muffins. Even as recently as last month, with all her worries about this move on her mind, LJ and her madre came over and helped ABM during M's graduation cookout when I was too fatigued to face people for one more second.

So, here's to LJ and her family. As the old Irish blessing says:

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind always be at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.
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