This morning was my last morning making coffee and preparing breakfast for Chris’s parents. They left this evening on a flight back to Melbourne via LAX, and we had our goodbye hugs this morning before I left for work. I guess this will be our usual routine – their coming in the spring or summer to visit us, and then our going to visit them for Christmas in the opposite hemisphere.
A few of my friends and colleagues have half-joked that I must be relieved that they have left; I’ll have more space in the apartment, less people to be mindful of, and no one else other than Chris to prepare morning fruit or coffee for. I’ll also have my bed back. But the truth is that this time, like last year, I actually felt really sad. This time especially gave me that sinking feeling in my stomach as I waved my last goodbye to them before I shut the door, the same sad feeling I’ve gotten when my parents and Ed left me the last time they visited me in 2011 (and before that, in 2010 without Ed). I never thought that 2011 would be the first and only time Ed would come visit and stay with me here in New York. Even when my parents have given me a hard time and picked inane fights with me while staying at my old apartment, at the end of the day, they are still my family, still people who love me who I also love unconditionally. The worst arguments will never change that.
So maybe it’s a sign that I get the same sad, sinking feeling when Chris’s parents leave. Maybe it’s like my subconscious (and stomach) are finally accepting them as a part of my real family.