Friday, April 9, 2010

See you on the other side

Tonight I cooked Thanksgiving dinner.

I cooked Thanksgiving dinner because I needed to feel that I was a part of something, something familiar and familial. And Thanksgiving is a bond that we share with another family here on island. Well, here for now, but not for long.

Our friends, our surrogate family, our co-conspirators and commiserators, they are leaving the island.

It happens.

That sort of thing happens more often on islands, places where many people are from somewhere else. You can't very well go around quizzing people about how long they have been here and how long they intend to stay and what their intentions are.......first of all, it doens't mean a damn thing - people who are born and raised here move away. People who moved here as adults spend the rest of their lives here.

You just never know.

This weekend is The Big Birthday Weekend where our girl and our best friends' girl celebrate their birthday on the very same day. Thanksgiving, this shared birthdate.....these are just two of a series of unlikely coincidences that have bonded us. Life and death and beginnings and endings, every time we sit down to dinner, we discover a new connection, another silvery thread that ties us together.

As the departure looms, and reality starts to set in, and we start slowly, gingerly seperating, as though it is the end of a marriage........celebrating Easter seperately. Seperate birthday parties for the girls. Stepping back slowly, slowly, trying not to panic because it's not a crisis, and we will still be connected in many ways - some that have yet to be discovered I would imagine.

But I am not ready to break the bond of Thanksgiving dinner.

I needed to do it one more time.

So we gathered in my kitchen, and we drank and laughed and talked and the kids ran around - outside and inside, inside and outside. We shared a meal. There was a dance party. There were marshmallows dipped in chocolate. And in the end, as they walked out the door, I realized that they would probably only be at our house another time or two.......

One of our strongest connections is that we all grew up in the same area of New England.  But we met here on Maui. Strange, how things work. We had to move to Hawaii to meet these friends that share a history, memories, seperate but startlingly similar. Growing up, we had friends in common. We went to the same clubs, the same parties. And because of our hometown connection, we will be seeing each other again. And again. Every time we visit our hometown, we will see them. But I wonder if we will still talk every day. I wonder if the kids will remember how close they are right now. I wonder if we will ever share Thankgiving dinner again. I wonder if it will ever be the same as it is.

We'll see.
We'll see you.
We'll see you at home.
Not here but there.
Where everything is the same, but now will be different - because we will be there together. Where we all came from. Before we knew each other. Before we knew a lot of things.

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