Yesterday was a tough day. I had to sneak away to the bathroom a couple times in the morning to get my tears under control. Lots of deep breaths were taken, and lots of smiles were feigned as I packed Emily’s suitcase and collected her belongings from all over the house. She made some final touches and additions to the artwork she’s left with us around the house, and before I was ready, it was time to go.
We grabbed her suitcase and walked down to the bus stop. As we slowly wended our way through Honolulu, with a creepy transfer in Chinatown, I discovered that my poor child has inherited my predisposition toward anxiety-induced nausea. She complained of a stomach ache the whole way there. I had the exact same feeling in my stomach the entire day. That horrible squirming knot that won’t go away. I felt so bad for her.
We finally arrived at the airport and got her checked in. No surprise, she wanted Chinese food for lunch. I could still hardly eat, even though many of the things I had been worried about were already successfully managed. When we got to the gate, the gate agent told us she could go on last so that we could have a few more minutes to spend together and say goodbye. I tried to help her not to cry. I tried to tell her to be brave and that even though she was sad, she should try to smile about all the good times and all the things she has to look forward to. I know how hard that is to do. Even though there were tears, she was extremely brave. I was so proud of her.
Once she was on the airplane, I gave myself about ten seconds to let my own feelings overwhelm me. I sat and watched her plane pull away from the gate and felt empty. I already missed her. But there was yet another arduous bus journey to take on, so I made my way back to the front of the airport to wait. Geoff was getting off work at about the same time. I decided that the best thing to do would be to meet for a drink in Waikiki. I only had two. I didn’t get drunk, but it did help me relax. As a side note, I can’t believe how many cheeseburgers I’ve eaten in the past month. I have a problem.
By the time we walked home, I was so exhausted I could barely keep my eyes open. It was all I could do to stay up until 8:30. I knew I’d have a sleepless night ahead anyway, as I received a series of texts from Emily at each of her stops along the way, first at 2 am and then again at around 4:30. I’m not complaining. I wish I could have been there to hold her hand.
She should be arriving back in New York any minute. When I woke up this morning, I forgot for a second that she wasn’t in her room sprawled out on her bed. I’m ready for her to come back.