Le départ

IMG_3368 IMG_3369 IMG_3371 IMG_3361There are two very different sides to expat life. One side is the new. New people, new work, new places and new adventures. In all the new, we make new friends, and we know as we spend time with them that our time has, unfortunately, an expiry date. Some day we both will leave, and start a new adventure. But as we cautiously, make these friends we know that the tapestry of our lives will forever hold a common thread, something that will connect us forever.
This morning I type with tears in my eyes. A mere 20 minutes ago a mini bus carrying no less than 12 suitcases, 7 carryons and more importantly, Marif, Marc Antoine, Alice and Charles pulled out my yard. Today, they will board a flight and for the last time they will look out the window and look down at the turquoise lagoon. They will say goodbye to New Caledonia, a place they have called home for five years. I wonder, what that will feel like. What emotions will they feel? Sadness? For what they will leave behind. Accomplishment? For the work Marc Antoine did. Excitement? For the new adventure that lies before them. I can only imagine, until it is our turn to make that same flight.
Life has a way of adding people to our lives when we most need them. We became close friends with them whenever their friends, about a year ago, left. We were feeling a bit unsettled and they were to. I remember sending Marie France an email, when you get back from vacation lets make sushi! From that point on the Parent-Cardinals have been a constant in our lives. We have shared champagne, food, many laughs, Marc & Keith’s love of the Quebec Nordiques, the joy of when Theo, our little Caledonian arrived and many coffees.
Marie France, I hope as you read this you are sitting in the Tontouta airport. I hope it will make you smile knowing that you will be missed and that you will forever be my Greta. I will try and be a Greta to someone else, maybe some green expat, such as myself when you became my Greta. You and Marc Antoine have been a large part of this journey and as our days continue here I know we will try and live our island life to the fullest, as only you would. I hope that your heart is filled with warmth as warm as the island sun and memories that could fill many, many photo albums. While I cried as you drove away, just remember what Seth had to say, “Mommy why are you crying?”
“Because I am sad that they are leaving”
“Me too Mommy, but it’s okay. We will see them again”
Smart boy that Seth, smart boy!


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