Hands down, the messiest, ugliest, snottiest cry I have ever cried came out as I said goodbye to my friend Brittany when we moved from Whitehorse. We had moved up there together, lived together, got married within a couple months of each other, had our first babies within days of each other. On top of walking together through all of these dramatic life moments, she impressed upon me what a caring, selfless, fun, adventurous soul she had, and let me tell you: when you find someone like that you hold on tight and don't let go. So when it came time, after six years and six babies (between us) to hold on one last time and say goodbye, we both lost it. Years later, I have to tread carefully when I think back to that awful moment or I risk bursting into tears again recalling the guttural sadness.
We really didn't know when we'd see each other again, only that we would. Imagine how my joy cup did filleth and spilleth over when she called to ask if she could fly her whole family out to visit us for a whole week. Take a moment to think about what this means: she has three rambunctious boys and a big belly full of someone else we've yet to meet. She and her husband took time off work, fit a week's worth of packing into three compact suitcases, and flew across the country for the whole purpose of spending time with us. Wow.
We have been so glad to play tour guide and show our beloved city off to people who've only visited it briefly. More than that, we have shared adventures and meals and talks so rich my happiness meter is topped off for weeks and months to come. We stay up playing board games after days spent going for walks, playing in parks, wrangling wild kids and feeding them. Oh, our kitchen is so alive. I think Brittany is my favourite person with whom to share a kitchen. Some of my best memories are of watching how she does things, and stirring pots of warm, wholesome foods we've prepared together for our giant brood (meals for 11 people, three times a day!)
Her family shares our love for being outside no matter the weather, for staying in jammies as long as possible in the morning and having a cup of tea any time of day just because. People wondered how we'd cope with having another big family up in our space for over a week, but if you know Brittany, this is a non-issue. She and her family are the bests guests ever: they make meals, tidy after themselves, help out, smile through tantrums (theirs or ours!) and go with the flow. She is so intuitive and knows just what to do to make everyone around her comfortable in any situation (and I do mean any- she makes me feel at ease even in the most body-fluid gross-out situations!)
I can rest easy this time when our adventure visit ends and we have to say goodbye. I won't feel so forlorn, because now I know that both of us are in this for the long haul. Whether she wants us to or not, we'll keep showing up, catching up, making phone calls and sending messages. Being part of the RCMP means we are lucky to have good friends across the country as we all move here and there. I am so thankful these guys live in such a beautiful part of the country, so our trip out to visit them will be another new adventure!