"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened" -Dr. Seuss
This blog has been sitting in my dock for a few days just waiting to be finished. Every time I try to articulate what it is I want to say about this family it never comes out right and just doesn't do them justice. Living the expat life is really a dream come true. You travel, meet new people, and experience things you never thought possible. But then there is the part where "All good things must come to an end," and your expat friends move on to new assignments. This year is a big year. It seems like a mass exodus really. Ericka and I have reached that 2.5 year mark in our assignments, and that seems to be the time when the people you arrived with start to leave. Saying "See you later" to friends is hard, but saying it to the Keown family will be one of the hardest. They are all so special to us. Mike is witty, with a strong southern drawl, and always makes us laugh. Keown kiddo #1 is one of my daughter's closest friends and like another daughter to us, #2 is the quiet one who could play Minecraft with our son for days on end, #3's face is always covered in chocolate and no one is ever quite sure what #3 will do (but that's what we love about him,) and then there is #4. The baby of the family who FINALLY says my name. She's the one who stops tourists in their tracks, and they ask to take pictures with her. The reality is that she won't remember me and that breaks my heart. And finally….Lucinda. She has been my rock. Our friendship is an easy one. "Want to shop?" "Sure." "Want to watch Downton Abbey?" "Of course." "Dinner at McDonalds, so we don't have to cook?" "Yep!" "Let's watch a scary movie!" "You know I hate scary movies!" And, that is what I will miss. We've traveled to Italy, Spain, England, Switzerland, France, and around Belgium with their family, but I will miss the day to day. It's the everyday life that makes the experience meaningful. I know we'll be friends for a lifetime, but there will be a void for us when they are gone. So, as I write this I am trying to smile because I'm so glad it happened. We look forward to our time together in the US in the months and years to come. Reunions are the BEST! Keown family WE wish you all the best, and thank you for blessing us with your friendship. We love you!
PS - the pouting picture of Miss E might be one of my favorite pictures of all time. It totally deserves to be in her wedding video. I giggle every time I look at it. She was DONE!