Written last night at bedtime.

Life gave me a sucker punch. I wasn’t prepared for it, and man it hurts. I walked outside this evening, a sunny windy evening.. beautiful, but so quiet. With an empty heart and a few footsteps I found myself staring into an empty yard…..

Any other day, around this hour our neighbors would be home. Their daughter would be in the backyard, running and yelling, hootin’ and hollerin’, 😝 reciting Star Wars, ringing her bike bell, yelling at her dogs. The lights in the upstairs windows would be on…. And my homesickness would dissipate..a feeling of comfort. Arkansas next door..

***

California.. A place engulfed with people but I remain isolated by choice.. looking in from the outside, my little jigsaw piece not quite fitting into this golden state puzzle while in the smack dab center of it all. I’m a recluse. I don’t open up to many people. In other words, it’s hard for me to make friends, not because I don’t like people but because I’m really not a social butterfly. It’s just me.

So there I was in 2017. I was lonely, breaking, and aching for home. I needed my people, a connection.
Within a few days we heard we were getting new neighbors-Husband and wife with a 6 year old daughter. This would be like neighbor number 6 for us…(high turnover rate out here). With in a few days that “new neighbor” would be knocking at my door and what she said well..you could call it serendipity..maybe California heard my cries. Her words exactly, “Hi, I’m Meghan. We just moved in next door and this is my daughter. I saw your Arkansas license plates and that’s where I’m from! Are you from Arkansas?” Guys, I nearly fainted. From then on we just clicked. I’d found my comfort. Anytime I was homesick I’d look out window to see her Arkansas plates and Razorback stickers. The girls played together like sisters despite the age difference and Meghan was my saving grace, my tiny piece of Arkansas in the hustle and bustle of southern California.

Well, yesterday we said goodbye to our sweet “Arkansas neighbors”. We waved as they drove away from our street, our little nook in the golden sun, to start a new chapter in different state.

How do I put this feeling into words….
a heavy loneliness…
Claustrophobic feeling.
My heart hurts.
But I need to deal with the weight of this sadness on my own. Alone and by myself. I found myself glancing at their house through my kitchen window expecting to see a light on with little girl waving in the window….but it’s dark..empty. I stepped outside and peeked into their backyard and I was flooded with an overwhelming amount of emotions while my mind rolled it’s own self produced silent video montage: Birthday parties, park dates, dress up dates, Santa Ana winds blowing through the hair of peeking heads over the fence, little girls voices yelling back and forth… laughing with tons of, “Let’s play Anya” and “Watch this Rezy”. Somehow in two and a half years we created a lifetime of warm memories, when I needed it most and I’ll carry them close to my heart. It seems the smallest things are what I’ll miss most- the daily waves while coming and going, conversations about the south.. just the comfort of home next door.
Ya know what..Change sucks. The kind of change that leaves you aching for familiarity.
Life sucker punched me yesterday and left me picking pieces of myself off the floor to rebuild again. I guess my jigsaw piece has chipped edges…it won’t fit anywhere until I can build it whole. Maybe I need to work more on myself so these sucker punches leave a little black eye instead of a knock out…..

No matter what happens in the future and no matter where we all end up, I’ll never forget my days shared with them in the California sunshine.

My daughter watching her friend pack up.

37 Replies to “A Saving Grace.”

  1. That’s a tough one. Sorry about that. I’ve spent a fair about of time down there working and it’s incredible how alone you can feel in the middle of 40million people. Hang in there kid.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Jim. I think I’m handling worse than my daughter.😆☹️ But you’re absolutely right. People everywhere and not one familiar face.. it’s a hard pill to swallow..thanks for the encouragement. I really appreciate it. 💝💝💝

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I guess it’s the same everywhere, the more people you have around, the lonelier you get.
    Great pictures btw.
    The one with your daughter is cute. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading.❤️ She was so cute staring out the window 🤭 When she turned around and started crying… totally different story😆😭 I agree though, loneliness can swallow you whole if you’re careful…. Thank you for reading ☺️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well I explained to her that we’d see her friend when we went home to visit Arkansas..she’d be close… Then we FaceTimed both sets of grandparents to take her mind off of it all. She’s been a pretty happy camper since then. Thank goodness. My heart couldn’t handle much more.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. My heart hurts for you, Steph….losing that link to home must leave an ache that is hard to get past. I’m thinking about you, my sweet girl, and sending positive vibes (and prayers) your way. I
    love you!! 😘💋💋❤️

    Like

  4. 😢😢 your daughter picture is also heartbreaking beside these words you expressed perfectly!!
    I wrote one a post about expatriation, I explained the feelings progress and how you reach a point you become numb and you even hate feelings
    I said goodbye to many people and now I act in a cold way to protect myself but I cry alone and fall apart but I don’t show it because there’s nothing to do about losing people and people leaving…nothing at all
    I hope your pain will ease and I’m sure it always gets better 🙏🏻❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Huguette! I truly appreciate your words. Now I need to read that post! Sounds very interesting! You and I are very relatable I feel–Great attitude, caring, love people, but a total recluse. Haha Thankful for your mind.❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I guess you did 😊 but read it again because I’m doing some tests to my readers 😂😂😂 a joke of course
        My pleasure dear Steph glad you can relate as well 😊❤️❤️

        Like

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