Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Long Good Bye



Kailyn, my baby, left for France this afternoon.  She will be in an immersion program at Universite' de Caen, in Normandy. She's very excited, as she should be.  We plan to join her as a family in June 2012, as soon as school is out.  That part is pretty exciting.  But, it's going to be a long nine months for this momma! We had a wonderful long weekend with the four of us, something that happens rarely around here.  Today, within the hour after we left Kailyn at the airport, Jessica also left.  We won't see her until Thanksgiving.  It's just David, Nikki (the dog) and I, once again.

Kailyn has been in the air for almost two hours now, due to arrive about the middle of the night, our time.  There were a few tears at the airport, but they've been flowing with regularity from my eyes for days.  When we got home, Jessica brought from Kailyn's bedroom an envelope for each of us.  Kailyn had written us letters sometime before she left, and told Jess where to find them.  As we each silently read our own, all three of us were wiping our eyes.  I wish I had thought to write a letter to Kailyn and tuck it in her suitcase, but I didn't.  I texted her to tell her thanks and that I loved her one more time before her plane left.

We started saying "good-bye" to Grandpa on Saturday morning. Friday night, the four of us drove to Newport to visit him one last time before the girls left for their perspective colleges and Grandpa left for Arizona.                                                                                     
                                  
Jessica & Grandpa
Kailyn & Grandpa


(Right about now I am really frustrated because I can't get these two photos on the same line!)  Anyway, Grandpa was very happy to see his granddaughters, and probably David and I, too.  We had a wonderful day seeing the sights and hanging out together.  We left Newport about 3:00, then drove home, via Tillamook, (not the quickest route!) as Jess had a burning desire to visit the Cheese Factory, and we all felt like we needed an ice cream cone!
Kailyn snoozing on Jessica's shoulder!
The girls in the car, after stopping for ice cream!

We had a "Au Revoir & Hasta Luego" party for Kailyn Monday afternoon.  We had a ton of food, and a steady stream of friends and family came to hang out and send her off with good wishes.  We laughed a lot, and her boyfriend's French dad helped her with determining the correct adapter for her "plug ins" and the right train to take from the airport to the university.  Our neighbor loaned her a money belt type thing to keep her passport, visa and money in safely.  Her uncle brought over some euro's he had left over from a previous trip. She was all set to go!
Kailyn's best friend, Becca, and boyfriend, Nick, sharing a laugh!
The Three Amigos

Tearful good bye to Becca, close friend since first grade.

Today Nick came over for our last family breakfast, Kailyn's choice, turkey bacon and french toast.  We took more pictures, then headed for the airport around 11:00.  (As I am having fits getting photos uploaded, I am not adding anymore.  It's taken me over an hour to manage to get the ones I've got!)

Everyone forgot to bring a camera to the airport (well, I didn't forget, I accidentally left it in the car, but didn't know that until we got back to the car and it was too late!)  We took numerous photos with our phones, but I spent about an hour trying to load them onto my laptop and while I can see the photos, when I try to insert them there are just words.  I've given up!  

There were more tears, repeated hugs, and finally we let her go through security.  Nick received a text from Kailyn after she was clear, which he relayed to us as we were still in the car driving home!

Now, I wait, pray, and wait some more until I hear from her, hopefully when I get up tomorrow morning for work.  She has set up a blog, and it will be fun to follow her as she experiences this wonderful year of discovery in France. 

My blogging friends will likely hear about my worries and anxieties with my girl about a billion miles from home!

9 comments:

  1. Oh, my! I hope she has a tremendous time in France - I would love to go back someday. And I hope that her adventures far outweigh your anxieties and the nine months fly by for you all.

    Bon voyage!

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  2. It is so hard to send our kids off to foreign places. I know. Been there, done that. I'm so happy for your daughter and for her adventure. Skype is a wonderful thing. I bet you will be using that to keep in touch.

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  3. I'm at a loss as to how to respond to your posting today, Sandi. I try to imagine a mother waving good-bye to her daughter as she goes off to study in another country. Worry must inundate you and yet with all that must come also a deep down, heartfelt gratitude that she feels able to embark on this journey alone.

    I am remembering a stanza from a poem by e. e. cummins:

    "i thank You God for most this amazing
    day: for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
    and a blue true dream of sky, and for everything
    which is natural which is infinite which is yes"

    Her journey and yours is that yes.

    Peace.

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  4. Kudos to the both of you for giving it a go! I'm afraid to let mine fly the coop. I've got two years to wait, but I've noticed the empty house more and more as they grow. Bittersweet. How fun that she gets to experience another culture. Good luck to the both of you. I'll enjoy hearing the successes and worries as you go. (BTW, so far so good with school. I've got to get in the groove a bit better, but nothing that isn't true of any restart.)

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  5. It's never an easy thing for those of us left behind when our kids set out on their own. But I feel confident that you will be in the loop of her adventures. How simply exciting it all is! I wish I could give you a big hug, but you'll have to make do with the virtual kind.

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  6. I remember when my son went on a mission to Taiwan for 2yrs..only allowed to call home twice a year, Christmas and Mother's Day..it was the hardest thing I ever did..saying goodbye and then the waiting for the homecoming. He had a ton of experiences that he'll never forget...he can speak fluent Chinese and has been blessed in his life in so many ways that serving and sacrificing his time and talent for the Lord has given him. I know your daughter will enjoy her time, come home safe and more mature than you can imagine. What a wonderful opportunity for her. For you...well, the pic of your face in one of the photos says it all.

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  7. Your girls are flying from the nest, Sandi. A time of adjustment and change for all of you. Good Luck to them and to your and your husband! What a sweet idea of Kailyn's to write you all personal notes.

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  8. Paris--what an exciting time for your daughter.

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  9. Your kids are growing up and flying away - literally. You've done such an amazing job with them and you know they're going to be more than fine. It's such a testament to your family that Kailyn got this great send-off. The time will fly, and you'll be there with her before you know it.

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