It is safe to say in the last 5 years since moving from Perth, I have spent my fair share of time at Airports. I still remember the day we left Perth. As I sat in my seat, clutching Daniels hand, tears streaming down my cheeks, holding closely to Emery who was just 5 months at the time. I looked out the window, and tears flooded my eyes as reality hit in of what was happening. Moving across the other side of the country, just [then] the three of us, chasing something that we felt so strongly would be the next chapter of our lives.
Living away from loved ones there have been many trips to and from Airports. Each time I have collected someone who is visiting us there is such happiness, and then taking them back so they can return home there is sadness as they leave. Holding tight to the memories we have made in those moments they have been with us.
When we return home to Perth there is such excitement brewing as in just a few hours we will be reunited with our loved ones. As we come home there are many tears (more and more lately as both children realise the distance!) as we give lots of hugs and say goodbye, again holding on to memories made, and beginning to count down the days until we see them again.
In my many airport visits I have noticed others, sharing moments unaware of others around them.
I think of the young girl who traveled in the seat in front of us recently, unaccompanied minor, in care of the Flight Attendant, waiting until the plane had emptied to join us in the terminal. I didn’t know her story, I wondered, is she returning home? Is she holidaying? As she entered the terminal I watched from afar as she ran with such speed to another young girl, they held each other so tightly, tears of joy as they kept hugging. They then joined the adults waiting with them, and walked arm in arm into the distance. Sisters? Friends? Cousins? I’ll never know, but I know in that moment I was reminded of the many happy times of coming home to loved ones, feeling their embrace after 4 hours on a plane. Walking with them, many stories spilling out as we connected after months apart.
I remember being the young mother, saying goodbye to her children and husband and walking away from them as the children cried for me, pulling at my heartstrings, as I left for a course in Melbourne for two weeks.
I see the couple embrace for an extended time as one walks away, tears streaming down their cheeks.
I know the feeling of being the one coming off the Airplane, waiting for that moment you lock eyes with the one waiting for you, your heart leaps for joy as your walk speeds up so you can reach them that little bit quicker.
I have also witnessed the incredible amounts of Krispy Crème donuts that people bring when leaving Melbourne to loved ones waiting for them, or maybe just for themselves to enjoy in days to come.
Goodbyes are really hard, as you say goodbye to loved ones that have visited you and shared moments in your world. They are hard when you’ve been on holidays, living the dream and now needing to return to reality. But the beauty of goodbyes is that there are always the times you are reunited with loved ones, where your heart is filled when you are with them, where the stories flow of times missed together and memories made in those moments.
Living away from family is hard it is bittersweet. It has made me stronger and it has made me appreciate my family so much more. It has made me realize what we take for granted. As I live away from them, especially now having my own children, it hurts each time I say goodbye, and the countdowns are getting bigger and bigger to give us something to be excited for.
But I know that Adelaide is where we are meant to be, for such a time as this. Who knows where we will end up, but what I do know is that my children love their family in Perth so much and I am so incredibly thankful for the times people call just to say hi, when they send a little note in the mail to surprise us and I am super thankful for Skype, Facetime and the internet!!
I am thankful for the friends and family we have now in Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth, because as we’ve moved around we have been blessed with more and more family to love and to do life with us.
Today I said goodbye to my Mum, I was brave….mostly. I fought back tears as I gave her the biggest hug, so thankful that she had come to visit with Dad, who had left just days before to return to work. I waited until she walked back past me for just one last wave, one last smile, one last kiss blown through the air, for now. I turned and the tears flowed, she caught me as I glanced back for one last smile.
All the while reminding myself that it is just 9 weeks until I see them again!