Everyone says the month of June sucks when you're in the Foreign Service, because that's when it's time to say goodbye. Transfer season, as it is called, usually takes place during either the summer or winter. Since families want to see their kids finish out a school year before moving, most FSOs with school aged children leave in the summer, particularly at the end of June when school is out and there is still enough summer left to take mandatory home leave.
This week, we said our first goodbye. The family that left us had three children--two daughters who E absolutely adored, and a son E's age who, despite their differences at first, E grew to love playing with. Their mom was my closest friend here. She was the very first person to open her home to us when we arrived, and she never shut the door, so to speak. They are the family that took care of E when I went to the hospital to deliver D. She was the one who cooked dinner for us for an entire WEEK after D was born so we didn't have to worry about it. She and her husband had us over for countless dinners and BBQs, and we spent many a lazy afternoons lounging by the pool while our kids splashed around nearby. There were untold shopping excursions and late afternoon gab fests in her kitchen. There were trips to the beach and birthday parties and happy hours. This family made the past year and a half fun for us, and they will be missed.
But instead of focusing on the fact that they are gone, I choose to focus on the fond memories. The last couple weeks especially, were full of good times, from a traditional Turkish dinner (with belly dancer!), to a fun-filled day at the water park, to a farewell family BBQ and last but not least, the Consulate Independence Day party where we all (maybe) had a bit too much drink that night.
Yes, goodbyes suck. But the memories are just too awesome to dwell on that. Because it's never really goodbye. We know our paths will cross again soon. They always do in the Foreign Service, eventually. Right?
|Afternoon at the pool - E and his buddy.|
|Day at the water park with all the kids|
|Group dinner - with belly dancer!|
|Going to miss this lady!|
|Final night of fun at the Consulate July 4th Party.|