After four years in Istanbul, we are down to 3 more days. Incredible. Where did the time go? I keep thinking I have time for one more trip here, one more stop there. But I don’t. The packers have come and gone and the house is empty (imagine major echo here). There are a few things left; the dregs of a lively, laughing, sometimes screaming house full of… us. It’s so sad to see a stray hair clip or action figure leg lying helplessly in a corner.
The past 2 days have been a train that has picked up speed and is DEFINITELY on autopilot. I have nothing to do with any of it now. Our suitcases are packed and I expect to arrive in the US like a kid on a bike that hasn’t learned how to stop, careening in, slamming on the brakes, overstuffed suitcases leaking Turkish delight and stray socks and one last pair of silver earrings and lovely cards from much loved friends and last minute purchases of our favorite lentils tucked in to every corner.
Ahhhh, vacation. There is a light at the end of the tunnel and it does keep getting brighter. A few more hurdles – award ceremony at school tomorrow, goodbyes to our great friends who are leaving for vacation, a half-day last day of school, no doubt full of tears and hugs and laughing. Turning over the keys, one last lap around the compound, a swim in the pool and our last night dinner with friends. Bittersweet. I’m not really one for cloying sentiments – I never liked those big-headed kids who were all over the “Love is…” paraphernalia of the 70s. But I did recently hear something that made me smile, a smile of understanding, sadness, and sweetness all rolled into one.
“Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened”