“How lucky am I to have something that makes saying goodbye hard.” – Winnie the Pooh
This morning Ava and I said goodbye to our family before they drove to London and right now they are on a plane heading towards New Zealand.
My god it was hard.
The girls were both crying their eyes out (ergo, so were we), and it was so incredibly heart wrenching. Not having any clue when they are likely to see each other again makes it so much harder and means that we can’t reassure them with “you’ll see each other again soon”, because, they most definitely won’t.
I keep talking to Ava about how we will Skype with them lots, and she says “but it’s not the same!”, and cries genuine tears of anguish and upset.
And it’s not the same.
Having family that live so far away is so, so hard, and more so once you’ve actually seen them again and spent lots of time with them. We’d never met my six year old niece before, and now that we’ve got to know her and spend so much time with her, and for us both to form a bond with her, it’s even harder to not see her again, and even harder for my heart to take.
It’s one of those weird things in life, where it would actually be much, much easier to not have seen them at all. Having to deal with these emotions and hurt is so incredibly tough.
But I wouldn’t have missed out on these last few weeks and the moments we’ve seen the girls share as they got to know each other for the first time for the world. Even if I could go back and change it. I wouldn’t. We’ve had such a brilliant and fun few weeks with them, it’s been amazing, and however much we’re all hurting right now, I’m glad that it all happened.
After Ava having such a tough time at school recently it’s been such a wonderful experience to witness her confidence increasing as she spent time with someone close in age to her, who treated her equally and perfectly as a friend and cousin. They have formed such a close bond, and have been sad every time they’ve been apart these last few weeks. C bought Ava a Build-a-Bear like her own before she left and I know that A will treasure it.
It feels horrendous to pretty much rip that bond apart now, as they may not see each other for another few years, which is heartbreaking and sad. We will encourage them to Skype and maybe send each other some little bits occasionally, but I know what kids are generally like on Skype – they’ll either run away and play or sit there not speaking to each other!
And then I feel like I’ve got really close with C too, as well as her Dad and I’m gutted to not have them both in my life more than I do. Spending so much time with my incredible little niece and her getting more and more comfortable with me, walking around holding her hand, spoiling her a bit with little plastic crap that she’s desperate for, and just getting to know her – it just breaks my heart that it will be a really long time before I get to see her again, and she won’t be so comfortable with me then I’m sure.
It’s so bloody hard.
But we’ve had a wonderful few weeks with them, and A has been so much happier than she has been more recently, and I’m so grateful for that and that we finally got to see them both after all these years. So I’m trying to hold onto that rather that this massive sadness I’m feeling right now.
Life is so wonderful, and so hard, isn’t it?