Missing You Already

Yesterday I bade farewell to my dear friend Jules and her family as they flew off to live in jolly old England. I have kept a stiff upper lip throughout the process of her move and I have to say that stoicism sucks.

I was all  –

It’s going to be amazing

I love England

You’ll get all the good TV shows they don’t play here

You can go to Paris on weekends

It won’t ever get as hot as it does in Sydney

You won’t have to work (her husband has landed a really good job)

You can devote more time to your painting and paint English meadows and dales

The kids will be near their grandparents

The English sense of humour is pretty much the same as the Australian one

I didn’t realise I was so good at accentuating the positive. I have such mad skillz I could teach courses in it.

The thing is, I felt like a total fraud because as I was outlining the multitude of positives I was crying my head off internally.

I was like a two year old holding onto their mother’s leg when they are left at daycare in the morning.

The scared little girl side of me needs Jules here with me.

Jules knows me. She gets me. I’m not just saying goodbye to her as she flies into the Northern Hemisphere; I’m saying goodbye to my comfort zone, to my support structure.

Even though I know it’s not true today I feel like I am standing in the world alone.

I couldn’t let her see that. I didn’t. She was nervous enough without me acting like an idiot.

Saying goodbye to the ones we love is just about the hardest thing in the world, but at least I said goodbye.

Jules hoped right up until the eleventh hour, the eleventh hour and fifty ninth second, that her mother would get in touch with her.

(For those of you who don’t  know the story, Jules’ mother refuses to make contact with her daughter because she disapproves of her husband).

We went round to her mother’s house several times. There was either nobody home or she was refusing to answer the door. She never answered the phone. She didn’t respond to faxes or emails.

I was so mad about it that I sat outside her house for a whole day in the car. Nobody came out and nobody went in.

I have to conclude that the woman is beyond help. To not make your peace with your daughter when she is moving to the other side of the world seems unfathomable. Her coldness makes me stagger.

As she was walking through the Departures gate Jules said to me: Please check on my Mum from time to time.

I almost burst into tears. She still remains hopeful after everything. I guess a hopeful heart is better than a broken one.

I am happy for my friend as she goes off on her adventure to a new place. I hope that very, very soon her part of England feels like home.

I hope she stockpiles Bassett’s Jelly Babies, Golden Wonder crisps, Jaffa Cakes and Walnut Whips for when I come to visit.

I hope she gets to visit Rick Stein’s restaurant in Cornwall.

I hope she enjoys listening to BBC Radio 4 live.

But boy, am I going to miss her….

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20 thoughts on “Missing You Already

  1. So sorry about your friend leaving. It is always so hard especially when we (you and I and all of the others) seem to live so far away from them. Terrible about Jules’ mother, silly stupid pride-filled woman.

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  2. Holding you and Jules in my thoughts. I’ve been there: the leaving friends behind bit and the strained parental relationship bit; both suck. Have a cry on my virtual shoulder, dear heart. Big hugs.

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  3. Oh, I’ve been there and I’ve held it in (it was so hard though). The last time I had to do this with one of my favorite people I was grateful for the sunglasses I was wearing…they hid the water in my eyes remarkable well. Here’s to bittersweet goodbyes!

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  4. What a fabulous friend you are, not letting your own sadness made it more difficult for Jules. I can’t believe her mother held out like that. What a strange woman.

    I hope Jules is happy in London and doesn’t miss the Australian skies too much. I wish I could swap places with her in many ways. But jelly babies are nice!!! And now you have a really great reason to fly to blighty whenever you can and then we can meet up and read Mr Twiddle together over a coffee.

    Big hugs, Selma x

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  5. Gosh you’re making me cry. I left my best friend six years ago, but she is four hours away, not half a planet. But I miss her so much – she was that sense of comfort no one else could be.

    Thank goodness you’re in an electronic world Selma – you can talk to her lots. I know it’s not the same, but it’s something.
    xo

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  6. Hi LAURI:
    I am mostly upset about her mother. Couldn’t she have swallowed her pride or whatever it is just for a moment? She has built a prison for herself and can’t get out. Such a shame.

    Hi DAOINE:
    You give the best hugs. It is nice to know you are there:D

    Hi WENDY:
    It’s funny you should say that. I had my sunnies on and Jules kept saying: ‘Why are you wearing sunglasses inside the airport?’ I almost got away with it!

    Hi RELUCS:
    Her mother is more than strange. She has made me angry with her intractability.

    You know what? I can’t wait to visit old Blighty. It will be an absolute pleasure to spend some time with you. I will bookmark my favourite Mr. Twiddle stories beforehand!

    Hi JENNIFER:
    I know how you feel. It’s the sense of comfort that will be hard to replace. Some people just have a knack for making us feel better. I agree – thank goodness for email and webcams and so on. She doesn’t seem so far away when I think of it like that!

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  7. Sad to say goodbye to friends but at least you have the internet. Does she read your blog? I love Rick Stein – just been watching his cooking show in Vietnam and other Asian countries – he’s the nicest of the celebrity chefs – I just love him. Such a shame about your friend’s mother – sometimes people put up such a hard shell that they just cannot dismantle it themselves, they are trapped by their own making 😦

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  8. Hi GABRIELLE:
    She does read my blog so I’ll need to include lots of posts and photos about Sydney for her.

    I am a big fan of Rick Stein’s. I think he is a very genuine person. I dream of going to his restuarant one day.

    It’s true what you say about the shell. I don’t think that this particular one will crack for a while, if ever. Such a shame.

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  9. You left out the best bit:

    ‘Gordon Brown is no longer Prime Minister’

    (and, if she’s anywhere near me, there’s always tea or coffee on here)

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  10. It can be so difficult to let go of such a close friend, a soul mate. I hope that her mother comes around and does not miss out on her daughters life any more than she already has.

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  11. It can be absolutely heart-wrenching saying goodbye to those we love. You and Jules are so lucky to have shared such a special friendship. YOu will see her again Sel, and there’s always email in between. I feel for her re: her mother. Wow, talk about holding a grudge.

    Many hugs, G

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  12. Ah, Selma, what a sweet, sweet friend you are. How oftentimes we forget that it’s not just the friend leaving that has to discover a new world, but the friend left behind has to rediscover their world anew.

    (((HUGS)))

    As for her Mom – well, some are just destined to feel pain. Jules, because of her forgiving ways, won’t feel what her mother will. And as her friend, I know you’re glad for that.

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  13. Hi TRAVELRAT:
    Oh yes. She will have the joys of learning all about British politics to look forward to 😉
    I know Jules would appreciate the offer of the tea.

    Hi TOBEME:
    I hope so too. I pray for it every night!

    Hi GERALDINE:
    If grudgeholding was an Olympic event her mother would be the gold medallist. It’s unreal. I will definitely see her again. There is no doubt at all!

    Hi MELEAH:
    Thank you so much for the hugs. I need them today. 😀

    Hi AINE:
    Aww. Your hugs are lovely. I think you are absolutely right – some people are destined to feel pain. What a terrifying thing to settle for. I can’t understand it.

    Hi JINGLE:
    Many thanks 😀

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  14. I cannot imagine not turning on your child like that…

    I’d be at a real loss if my Jewels were to move away. Hugs to you.

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  15. Hi NAT:
    It’s really awful, isn’t it? I just don’t understand it.

    I am at a bit of a loss, truth be told, but I will be fine 😀

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  16. Selma, I wish I was there to give you a hug! You are a great friend and I’m sure Jules is missing you as much as you miss her. At least now you have even more reason to pack your bags and take a trip to jolly old England. 🙂

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  17. What a lovely post and what a lucky friend Jules is! It’s that time of the year again here too, where friends leave for pastures new and you realise just how transient expat life is. But on the other hand, it’s amazing how such deep friendships can be forged in such a short time when you all have to look out for each other. Keep smiling!

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  18. Hi KATE:
    sorry for the late response. I would gladly take that hug from you anytime. It certainly is a great reason to visit England!

    Hi KATE:
    I think most friendships have a transient aspect to them, don’t they? You just never know what’s round the corner. So it’s important to appreciate the good people when they are with us!

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