Saturday, October 17, 2015

Happy sad

When I left Turkey in 2012, I wrote a blog post entitled: Things I will miss most about Turkey. It listed all sorts of things that hurt my heart about leaving that amazing country.

I LOVED TURKEY. I loved the Americans and the Turks and the culture and the language and the people and the food and the traveling. 

My memories of those two years make my heart leap when I think of them, despite the fact that it was a very hard two years for us. We had an unexpected pregnancy, an appendicitis while pregnant, I went into early labor, was shipped off to Germany for three months, and then dealt with PPD upon my return. In addition, JB's job was less than perfect with some huge drama that accompanied our time there.

There were many things that made leaving Turkey hard, but without a doubt, the hardest part of leaving Turkey was saying good bye to my housekeeper and great friend and surrogate mother and my kids (especially Abigail's) surrogate grama, Hatice (pronounced Huh-te-jah). 

Hatice with our little Abigail

The military is so cool in so many ways. My dear friend Rebekah who we were stationed with both in Eglin and the Azores, is now in Turkey. As I helped her prepare for this big move, I told her, in no uncertain terms, that she must include Hatice in her life. 

And so now, I see pictures like this on Facebook:

I still can't really look at that photo above without having to avert my eyes from Hatice's face. Seeing it, makes me just feel so full of emotion.

And I read things like this on Rebekah's Facebook page:

Hatice and I cooked and baked together. Side by side. Loving the same music. Loving the same activity. Vastly different religious beliefs, but completely at ease with one another in this relationship of trust that we are forming. Huge language barrier, but able to communicate what we need to. We laugh hysterically together over the various ways both of us are losing our minds. 

Women are women.

Her from scratch traditional Turkish dish is baking for dinner. My house is spotless and she is able to pay her housing bill. I am thankful for the provisions to be able to support her while she blesses us. 

Also, boy shoe clutter is solved with an ugly hacked together shoe shelf. She complimented me greatly when she said, "You. Man. Work the same. I no understand. You too smart." smile emoticon

Oh how those words make my heart so "happy sad" as Sidge likes to explain happy things that make him cry.

I am so incredibly blessed that Rebekah gets to experience Hatice. And so blessed that Hatice gets Rebekah in her life. Rebekah has help. She gets to help Hatice. Hatice has work. Which she needs so much during this trying time in Turkey.

But oh I miss her so incredibly much. Will I ever stop missing her? It's a different kind of miss than people in our life we say good bye to. I can see my Mom anytime I want even though she lives in another state. Hatice is not the same.

When I left in 2012 I wrote the following ...

Hatice. Just one word. Without a doubt, when I think of leaving, leaving Hatice is the hardest part. She has no passport. Her ability to visit us is nerely non-existant. I hope to see her again but am not sure I will. And far away from family, Nene Hatice has become Abigail's surrogate Grama. I will miss her so deeply it hurts me -- physically. She and I have agreed not to talk about it. Not to say good bye. We just have to pretend it isn't happening.

In some ways, seeing Rebekah's pictures reminds me it really did happen. 

Happy sad.

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