Saturday, June 18, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Written on my iPhone - June 16...

I feel ill.

I'm in the car, headed to the community center for the last time.

I hate goodbyes, especially when those goodbyes are forever.

I've already said goodbye to my friends at the girls shelter... some of the sweetest girls you will ever meet. Girls who didn't get a fair shot. Girls who had their childhood taken away from them because of violence and abuse. Girls that still smile, and laugh and go right on living when I'm not sure I could. Girls who are stronger than I could ever be. Girls I admire.

It was a hard goodbye.

I held it together at the girls shelter, I held it together in the car ride home, but as soon as I walked through my front door, and turned the lock I cried. I cried for at least an hour, big tears.

Tears that couldn't be stopped with wine or choclocate.

I think I hate goodbyes because I'm not very good at them. There is nothing poetic about my goodbyes, never those perfect screen worthy goodbyes. I say nothing worth remembering, in fact, I usually say nothing at all.

Words bring tears and I hate crying in front of people, especially if it's the last time I will see them.

Saying goodbye turns good days into bad.

I feel a bad day coming on.

I feel ill.

***

It was worse than expected. Way worse.

And not because I had to break up a fight or because I got poked in the eye with a paint brush...

But because they had planned a goodbye program...

I did alright at first... I didn't cry when they walked in one by one carrying a rose, I didn't cry when they handed them to me and said thank you, I didn't cry as they sang their song about being a family and how they are glad I shared my life with them, I didn't cry while they read their cards, or when they presented me with the banner they had painted.

It wasn't until it was over...

They started chanting for me to give a speech.

I opened my mouth to speak and burst into tears.

It. was. terrible.

I hate goodbyes.


Nearing the End

When I started my "Final Countdown" series of posts I envisioned writing a post every day for the last 25 days of our time here in the Philippines. My last post was day 24, and as I'm writing this we are at day 7. So much for that plan...

I've found myself not being able to write about this place anymore. Not that there aren't things to write about, but I just don't feel the need to do it anymore.

Perhaps it's because I know this is the last chapter of my journey here in the Philippines and I'm not sure how I want it to end, or if I want it to end at all.

I've found myself slowing down, dragging it out, not sure I want it to be over just yet.

I no longer read in the car.

I used to read from the time I got in the car, until the time I got out in order to pass the time. Now, I find myself staring out the window... taking notice of every palm tree, every jeepney, every store front, burning these images into my brain so I can keep them with me.

Keep them with me and never forget.