Fare winds and following seas my dear friends!
Everyone gathers at Ferry Landing Pier to say goodbye :-(
After the Ferry takes off many jump in the water and swim after them...
...then they stop, wave one last goodbye and swim back to shore!
Being in the military (and sometimes even working for the military) means having to say goodbye to friends on a regular basis. It's our way of life. We don't like it. We don't enjoy it. But we realize that this is the way things roll and we must adapt and overcome.
Saying goodbye is never easy. In the civilian world, where people rarely move and when they do they generally stay put for more then two years (and I really mean generally speaking), you take your time getting to know the people around you. You assess the personalities, the likes and dislikes, the kid's ages, and overall relationships around you and then you begin to form relationships with the people who most fit with your own lifestyle. Nothing wrong with that. Except that it takes a long time to go through that process. Time is something we don't have on our side. Immediate family is something else we don't have. Therefore, we must form bonds very quickly. We learn to embrace the differences in others and learn to trust, and I mean really trust, our neighbors from day one.
To someone in the civilian sector saying goodbye to someone you met a couple of months ago may seem like a simple, ok a little sad, but nothing to write about. To us, particularly here in Guantanamo Bay, saying goodbye is quite an event and you really only have to have known that person a couple of months to have tears flowing into the bay.
Over the last few weeks we have had several friends leave. They were like sisters to us all and we miss them dearly. Each time we celebrated their new adventure by going to the beach or the pool, by taking them to lunch or bringing them dinner. There were several parties, afternoon tea, coffees and finally a toast to bid them farewell as they took the ferry that would eventually take them to the airport.
Today was the last of them, at least for a few weeks. Our good friend and her family left the island and is now headed to another island on the other side of the world (and I mean that literally). She was an avid participant in all my fitness classes, she was a hard-worker, a fun, happy, sweet, beautiful girl. I wish her the best in her new adventure and hope to meet up with her again in the future. I've only known her 6 months but I feel like I've known her for a lifetime. It was hard not to cry when the ferry took off and headed to the other side of the island. It was no different with the others that left before her. Happy for them but really sad to see them go.
I love all my friends. Thankfully, I have the ability to form bonds very quickly and lucky for me, the people I've met and have made a part of my life are amazing, wonderful, and the most awesome people anyone would be lucky to have as
I don't know how we'll ever do this but I do hope someday when we're all beyond the military and child rearing years we meet again somewhere. I can almost see a book coming out of our lives as military spouses, civilian spouses working with the military and as sisters living in Guantanamo Bay!
My advice to everyone, civilian and military, don't wait to meet the people around you. While we may do this out of solidarity, we must also remember that life is too short to waste it trying to figure out people.
Just add smiles and kaboom, instant family!
Until next time,