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Sunday, June 25

There's A Tear In My Beer

What I should be doing is about anything BUT writing. I have my day's plan all laid out and just can't get started. So instead of packing because pul-leeze!... the movers will only be here in 16 hours... I've got all the time in the world!

Instead I will tell you that yesterday was just fabulous. We got to PA around 11 - late because I was putzing around all morning. Helped mom with the last minute preparations. Dad and I shared our first beer at noon. (It is a family rule that you should switch from coffee to beer as the clock strikes twelve and who am I to break a rule?) Guests began arriving at 2. I mingled and chatted and played. I received the most lovely going away presents. I didn't know there would be presents, people! But thoughtful and touching they were. Amoung them, an Angel of Hope, a plaque about memories, friendship and hope, a box of my wedding chocolates recreated (and even better than the first time around!), and a ring that has the birthstones of all of my immediate family members. The gifts were so touching and I am so happy to carry these things with me on our adventure. But even more touching are the memories that these people continue to make for me. The thoughtfulness and love behind those gifts means more to me than anything they could ever bestow. I feel that I am taking a piece of each and every one of the people that I shared time with yesterday with me overseas, deep in my heart.

Do you know what really got to me though? Not the presents because they definitely tried with those and the cards! Oh my! No... it was saying goodbye to every one. Not that I won't see them again. But when I do, they will be changed, having had their own adventures. There will be new children, jobs, homes... new hopes and dreams. I am so sad to know that I will miss sharing these things with them. Some people I have only recently come to understand how important they are to be. Some I don't think I will know how to live without. Some I may never see again. Not for passing but who knows where their lives will take them or where ours will take us. Yesterday was really a goodbye to all of us, to the people that we are now.

That was entirely the hardest part.

By nightfall, I think we were all pretty done for. Emotionally, there was nothing left. Physically, we had no more to give. As the evening winded down, only a handful were left to sit out in the evening coolness. I tried to pay attention to what was going on around me but I got lost in my own thoughts a lot. It wasn't sad that I was feeling at all. Just longing. Wishing that all could change and yet still be the same. That we could sit there forever and talk and laugh. And somehow still do that while in Japan.

Finally throwing the day's wistfulness aside, I made my mom and myself a Mandarin and Red Bull. Her first of that sort of drink and I was hoping for a reaction. Within a glass and a half... and I'm talking a lowball glass... mom referred to herself as a "wush." All senses were done for her, as well as the rest of us. So we just drank on. For God's sake - there was beer and hard liquor that couldn't go to waste!

As the hours got later, a few more headed home... a few crawled into beds... and some didn't make it to the stoop of the front door.

But we all slept very soundly.

The end.

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