May 09, 2016


The question came to my mind this week, as we said another tearful goodbye to another family we DEARLY love, Why do we say 'goodbye?' It isn't good, after all. It's quite terrible in fact. It should be called badbye, not goodbye.

A quick web searched proved helpful. Apparently, 'goodbye' can be traced back to the 1570's when the phrase, 'God be with you' was shortened to the contraction, 'godbwye.' It was later changed to 'goodbye' due to the influence of the common phrases, 'good day' and 'good evening' and such.

This came as a relief to me. Saying, 'God be with you!' I can do. But I don't think I can do any more goodbyes.

To whom did we bid godbwye this week? Tanya and Patrick and their five kids.  Five wonderful kids, who for the past three years have smiled, squeaked, sang, baked, and laughed their way into our hearts.

When we found out they would be leaving us this year, we knew it would be difficult for everyone. When you literally share the same wall as another family - something that my friend Darci in Arkansas knows about too - you form a special kind of bond. One that is built over leftover casseroles and coffee-cup conversations in slippers and robes. Middle of the night requests for infant tylenol, BBQs on the rooftop where the children play loudly, and the adults linger, in no hurry to retire to their prospective living spaces below.

Tanya is unlike any friend I've had. From her lovely Russian accent and pale eyes, endearing dimples, and waist-length chestnut hair, down to her sturdy shoes peeking out from under the hems of her flowing skirts, she is truly a special person to know. There is not a selfish bone in her tiny body. There is no pretense in her rugged ways. Always a baby in her arms, always a smile on her face. Only natural food for her brood. Only conservative curriculum for her treasured home pupils. I admire Tanya for so many reasons, and I will miss her very, very much.

And then there is my Eugene and her Emma. These two are cut from the same fabric. At times they quarreled because they are too much alike, but mostly they played together with great fondness and Emma will be missed dearly. And not just by Gene. I will miss my little baking partner. My reading buddy. My little friend.

Zion calls Sasha "Sash." I dare say she has been his best friend here.  She treats him with respect, something many little girls have lost the grace for in their dealings with little boys these days. The two of them played for hours and hours on the roof, in a world of make believe with their arms full of stuffed animals. Zion won't know what to do without "Sash."

And Tamara and Jubilee, well, these two girls were inseparable. They loved their tea parties and princess dresses just as much as making mud pies and turning over rocks in search of roly poly bugs. Jubilee hardly needed any other friend but Tamara.

So from the bottom of my heart I say, "God be with you, dear friends. Until we meet again!"
Dropping them off at the airport. Sasha giving me one last wave:(