Saying goodbye is freakin' hard. Summit County has been my home for over 20 years and the place is part of my being. Saying goodbye to friends and special places, not to mention our home, is one of the hardest things I've ever done.
My big question is, how do you say goodbye to a place that has been your home for the majority of your life? How do you honor everything is has given you? How do you honor the people who have become your family?
The best answer I've come up with is to spend time with as many people in as many ways as I can making strong and lasting memories. And also by not saying goodbye. As friend after friend has pointed out, friends are forever regardless of geographic proximity. So instead of "goodbye", I'm honoring our friendships by saying, "until we meet again" and by making a promise to myself that I will see them again one way or another.
As for how to say thank you for everything these people and this place have given me...well for that they only thing I have is tears. Tears of sadness, tears of love, tears of gratitude. Without these mountains, trails, lakes, streams, trees, and rocks my life would have been flat, drab, and monotone. Without this magnificent home built by Rob (and added on to by both our blood, sweat, and tears--literally), my life would have been rentals, thin walls, and noisy. Without the love and care of all the awesome, wonderful, and amazing people I've met over the years my life would have been lonely, sad, and empty. I don't have enough words or tears to accurately reflect how much living here has meant to me.
But the best way I know to honor all that is here is to not forget and to live large wherever we go next. A big reason for me to be excited about our future is that it will create an opportunity to explore my creative side more. My plan is to do more--more paintings, more writings, more photographing, more dancing, more creating, and more living creatively!
Right now, in this moment in time, we are in transition--we are becoming our "next" and I believe it will be a beautiful, messy, wonderful "next". Thank YOU for being a part of our lives then, now, and next.