Sunday, January 01, 2006

She's Leaving Home

Originally written June 28, 2005

Wow, Liz, you're really gone. Or you will be within the next 48 hours. This is so weird.

All these years you've wanted to live in Africa, and now you really are. It's your dream come true! It's still strange, though. Even before you applied to the Peace Corps, I was so busy being supportive and listening to the trials and tribulations of the process and working through the logistics that I didn't think about what this would mean for me. Until I talked to you this morning, your last day in Wisconsin.

It's not the distance that bothers me; I think your year in Mexico prepared all of us for that aspect of it. And, of course, I was already getting used to not living in the same city. No more weekend trips to Target, no more meeting for dinner in Chinatown, no more sharing of leftovers, no more trading episodes of the West Wing we forgot to tape. No, it's not the distance, it's the length of the commitment and the utter lack of communication. It's nearly impossible for me to comprehend that I can't reach you whenever I want. Or even call your voice mail directly and leave a message, so as to not wake you up at 5:00 in the morning. It's one thing to not see you for a long time; it's quite another to not talk to you.

And this morning, on the phone, that reality sunk in. I can't believe I'm letting you get on a plane bound for Africa without any idea of when I'll hear from you again. The thought stopped me in my tracks. I'm sure you heard my voice catch; I couldn't quite make it to the end our conversation. And once I was off the phone I sat in the parked car in the parking lot and cried, while everyone around me headed to their desks as if it were any other day.

So, Lizzie, have fun and be careful. I love you.


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