The worst and hardest part of even considering leaving California was that we had made some friends that truly felt like family. At the beginning of the year, we decided to put our affairs in order and finally buckled down and did our will. This was a very extensive process and came down to the awful question of “what if something happened to both of us”……..every couple has to tackle this……what if? what if you didn’t come back from that quick dinner date? what if you both left the kids for whatever reason….an hour, a day, or more, but one tiny wrinkle in the universe and you and your spouse weren’t returning. What do you do? Who do the kids turn to in their darkest hour? What if you have NO family close by……like, not even in the state?
I’m not going to go further than that but that’s where we were at the beginning of the year….taking care of business. And that’s when you begin to really assess the relationships you have with your friends and other families. Would they be there for you? Would they drop everything to step into your shoes for 24 hours or more?
It makes you think. Sometimes those friends are more valuable even if you DO have family close by —- as Dr. Laura says, “you can’t pick your family.” (For those of you who might not be too eager to think of family being your only option)
Anyway, the point is that as the year continued we felt more and more blessed that we truly have an incredible “family” in California. Making the decision to leave so much harder. I could have given a hundred excuses to stay. And if Brian’s job had brought him back to Los Angeles, we wouldn’t have left.
Those warm smiles, the holiday parties, the laughs and stories, and occaissional tears. As I pssed every playground, and so help me God I’d been to EVERY one, I could drum up stories from past years. I could see all our children as young tots on slides, in swings and cuddling on blankets laid haphazardly. I saw the coffee shops we’d dive into to load up for the next adventure. I laughed about dirty diaper incidents that only a mother can laugh about. I sighed over pets we’d said good bye to and wiped a tear at the ghosts of our children’s baby years.
I count myself as being incredibly lucky that when I landed in California, I literally bumped into an old college friend within several days. I had a great coworker who had moved from DC and Brian’s company had the coolest group of people that to this day we are friends with. I immediately connected with one of my best friends at work who introduced me to her best friend. When I moved to a new house, I met five women that brought me so much joy and then met a whole group of women that I cherish catching up with ——- and the list continues.
Thank you loved ones in California! We have been so amazingly happy and filled with joy over being able to call you all not just friends, but family.
I know it’s not “Good Bye” because in this day and age, travel and smartphones, etc. We will see each other! It’s really a thank you and I can’t wait to reunite.
To combine Pooh Bears deep thoughts with mine, “It wouldn’t hurt so much if it didn’t mean so much.”