I cried myself to sleep last night. It was the first time in a while. I wasn’t expecting it but I wasn’t terribly surprised nor upset when the tears started to flow. As I laid down I knew the tears were mixed with emotions of sadness, gratefulness and joy. A bizarre combination as usually tears are marked solely by sadness, or are distinctly joy based yet, last night produced a plethora of emotion.
I was overcome with sadness as a beautiful week was coming to an end. For the past four days my apartment has been filled with the laughter and presence of two of my Sonne guys. Lying in bed knowing that I would have to take them to the airport in a few hours was a disheartening feeling. This trip had been in the works for painstakingly slow months, and seemed to whisk by before I could blink. It doesn’t seem fair that I had to wait so long for them to be here only for it to go by so fast. The sadness of saying goodbye to those you love never gets easier. After going two and a half years without seeing someone and saying goodbye unaware of when you will see each other again, is never fun nor easy.
Yet, attached to my sadness there was gratefulness and not simply because yesterday was Thanksgiving. I was truly grateful to realize I have known one for six and the other for seven years. When we first met they weren’t old enough to drive and now they are discussing life after college and potential career opportunities. I was grateful for all the time we had to talk about the “remember when” stories. It wasn’t just the laughter that paired with the stories or the “how did we get away with that” question that seemed to be attached to so many of the memories. It was the fact that despite time and distance upon being reunited things clicked and felt as if they hadn’t changed a whole lot. In fact, on Tuesday night we walked to the grocery store to get dinner ingredients. The guys requested a meal I had made for them numerous times in the dorm. I was in the kitchen cooking and stepped out to see them on the couch playing video games - it was as if we had stepped back in time, it was an image I had been so familiar with at Sonne and truly treasured. I snapped a picture of them and sent it to a few friends saying, ‘It feels normal. It feels like I am home.” (Don’t worry, they were not being lazy and not helping cook. I refused to let them help me.)
The whole week brought great joy. The laughter, the old memories, creating new memories, the friendships, all made for an incredible time together. However, the one thing that made me happier than anything else was seeing how much they had let me into their life, and how big of a part they played in mine. Through our experiences together in Germany they opened up and allowed me to be a part of their story, and they will forever be a part of mine. Something that time and distance will never be able to take away from us.
Thank you guys for coming out. It was a time where it wasn’t just my stomach that was filled, but my heart as well.