January 8, 2013

"I must go, my people need me"

Saying goodbye (or in my case; See you) can be a really hard thing sometimes.
I remember kindergarten where a goodbye was a good thing. My friends were finally old enough to leave kindergarten and begin school. It was a good thing.
I remember years ago when we all had to tell our friends and classmates: "Have a nice summer!", and how some of us (not me) started crying because we were going to miss them in those 2 months we were going to be away from school.
I remember how hard it was to tell my best friend that she should take care of herself, that I loved her more than anything on this planet, that she should stay the same amazing person, and that I'd come back for her! I remember how heartbreaking that was, but after all I knew that I'd get to see her in just 9 months. I KNEW this wasn't  a goodbye. It was a "See you".

For me, goodbye is only a word that I use if people are going away and that I for sure will never get to see them again. (Mostly a word I use if people pass away, or against people I hate so deeply that I never WISH to see them again). This time it was different though. For, probably, the first time in my life I've had to tell a friend goodbye.
I'm talking about my good friend, Fernando, who's also an exchange student at my school. You see, not all people stay for the whole semester like I do. Most people choose to, but in some countries this year will count for them, and staying for the whole year would simply be too much for them. The Brazilian guy, Fernando, is one of those students whose year over here counts and since his school ended in Brazil already, he has to go back home now :(
I'm a person who absolutely LOVES to travel but Brazil is not one of the countries I've planned to visit so far, which leads to the fact that I will probable never see him again (Unless they in like 10 years arrange some kind of "meet-up" for exchange students or something crazy like that), and that saddens me :/
Fernando's dad and elder brother came here to America to pick him up and went to LA for a few days. Meanwhile his hostfamily (the same one as Francois') had planned a surprise-goodbye-party for him 2 days ago, where they had invited all the exchange students from school, some from Lompoc High, one from Righetti in Santa Maria, and the JV soccerteam that Fernando's on.
Of course you'd expect the atmosphere to be a little.. sad, but we actually had fun. It wasn't before we had to leave that I realized how much we were going to miss him :/ He took the plane back to Brazil this morning..

Here's a photo from our Christmas party at his house. He's the one in striped.
And lastly, a close-up picture of him. Saying goodbye was really hard for me (and the others too) but at least I know he's still alive. I may not get to see him again, but his life will go on.. And he'll be okay. And thank god for Facebook! Letting people keep contact since 2008!
Take care Fernando, maybe one day we'll all get to meet up again :) One day..
To end this, I've chosen my favorite "Fernando-line". His answer when Lenka asked why he couldn't just stay.
"I must go, my people need me".

Now let's clear away the grey rainy skies and look at the bright unexpected sides of life.
Sometimes in life you'll have to tell your friends goodbye, like we did to Fernando, but... it doesn't always have to be a goodbye. The picture below is from my 6th birthday.

(Frederik and Louise - 2001)
This photo was taken.. when I was like 6 years old. The chubby girl with the hippie shirt and way-too-short-cut bangs is me... beside me is a boy that I, at the age of 5 had to say goodbye to. He was a year older and had to leave kindergarten before me. This picture was the last time I saw him. We used to be the best of best friends. For years I've been wondering what happened to him. Was he still the same as the little boy I knew? What would he look like now? What school does he go to now? How would things have been if we hadn't lost contact?
I had lost that boy, but I still had my memories and the memories from kindergarten are still some of my most precious ones. Years passed and I accepted that he was out of my life.
Then...  guess what also happened 2 days ago, before the party?

(Lucy and Freddy - 2013)
I found him! (Well more like he found me). He'd been an exchange student in Orcutt back in 2010/2011 and now I've been placed just 15 minutes from where he was. This year he came back to visit his host family and after 12... 12!!!! long years, we FINALLY met up again. So no, a goodbye doesn't always have to mean that you'll never see a person again... But it may take a couple of years o___O

I got all my questions answered about where he had been, and best of all; He hasn't changed a bit! I'm sure that, when I get back to Denmark, we could have our friendship back. And I'm sure we'll both try our best to maintain it after that.
He went back again to Denmark yesterday, but I'm SO glad I got to re-meet him before that.

"A goodbye doesn't have to mean FOREVER, it may just take a little time. Strange things happen in this small small world."

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