We've been selfish lately. We've been hording what was never ours and we've been hoping to keep it forever. And now it's gone. Back where it belongs, back where it's right. But we're still selfish, and our covetousness now breeds mourning.
When we moved into our home, we moved away from everything and everyone we knew. Yes, it's only 60 miles. But 60 miles in LA traffic (120 round trip) is the equivalent of an expedition to Antarctica. ... while wearing board shorts and flip flops. It was terrifying. We knew no one and we crossed beyond the boarder of our tightly knit extended family's unwavering support. It was a new world and we were trepid. Until a chance encounter at a shoe store brought a ray of light into our world. Not to mention strange new ways of pronunciation.
Over the next three years the Bevans became the Hardy to our Laurel, the Cheech to our Chong, the Lloyd to our Harry. It was one of those matches that couldn't be planned better. Gina found a confident adventurer that drove her to places she'd never consider going on her own. Arianna and Genevieve found a loyal companion that could be shared with out being torn apart- a difficult feat amongst children. Rosaline found her soul mate. ... there's no other way to describe it. And me. ... I found someone who wasn't embarrassed with my horrible golf game, who wanted to be my friend rather then had to be, and who carried me emotionally while I carried him physically. And since Lorelei came along, she's found someone else to feed her for a change.
If family is a part of you, something you can't chose to attach or detach; like an arm or a leg. Then your friends are what you chose to put on. Some friends are an outfit that you wear to be showey. Some are casual and comfortable. Some you get tired of and discard and others you regret spending so much money on. The Bevans, though they may not even realize, were our armor. They gave us strength at a moment we needed it most. They made us confident in a world outside of our own. And now that they've gone, we feel exposed, fragile, perhaps a little cowardly.
I'll miss having a house full of chaos to come home to on a Tuesday. I'll miss imaginary weddings and the great adventures of Rozzie and Rafe. I'll miss strangers thinking the big girls were triplets, and they way often acted as though they were. I'll miss the strength you gave my wife. I'll miss jumping dead batteries at the drive in. I'll miss late night decisions for early morning golf. I'll miss watching the memories we've made play out on the tv slide show. I'll miss watching rugby and having no idea what's going on. I'll miss picnic dinners long after the sun had gone down. I'll miss kids sleeping on couches because we couldn't stop the evening.
As we stood against the airport dividers, heads craned up at the mezzanine in the Tom Bradley International terminal on Saturday, we watched them walk away, out of our daily lives towards the plane that would take them home. These things we'll miss played out in our heads, betrayed by the whimpers and frowns. But they were headed in the right direction, and that, unfortunately, was away from us. Our lives were extraordinarily brightened by their presence in it. But when winter sets in, and things get a little colder, we mourn the sun rather then celebrate the time we had. We miss the warmth rather then remind ourselves how good it felt. We forget, too, that a season isn't forever, and though the coming spring won't be quite the same as the summer, it brings with it the chance for summer to come again, if we let it.
So for now, we'll find solace in a log fire - which has no business being in Southern California. We'll try to order curry on our own and see what we end up with. I'll swing a club and swear like always, but I'll appreciate the scenery and the lack of rain. We'll appreciate the beach, because not everyone has this. We may even consider an earthquake survivor kit. We'll order cider every now and again. We'll make a roast. We'll look at Diet Coke in a can and smile, knowing it's superior to the bottle. We'll appreciate the National Anthem at sporting events. We'll laugh at chocolate squares. And we'll pour an extra glass of wine for the empty chairs at game night. ... and then we'll quickly drink them, because it's wine and can't be wasted. I mean, c'mon!
To the Bevans, should you read this: know that you've impacted this family, from top to bottom, in more ways then you might ever realize. Your mark is deep on each of us and though we're oceans apart now, and your day has become our night, you'll never be out of our sight, out of our thoughts or out of our hearts.