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…
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.