Abigail is in love with Hatice. She lights up like this every single time she sees her. This photo very accurately captures the happiness I see from both of them when they are with each other. Hatice has been coming an extra half day or so every other week to help me with the kids, allow me to run errands, take a nap, that sort of thing. It's so needed with Veronica's departure.
Yesterday Hatice walked in the house. After giving Scrubby one of the fifty treats she gives him when she is working, she scooped Abigail from my arms and sat down next to me.
They began talking -- Hatice in Turkish and Abigail in her six month old language, seemingly understanding each other perfectly. And as they talked, I found myself crying. Not out of some hormonal spot in me. But out of a genuine sadness in me.
How can I leave Hatice? How do I possibly good bye to a woman knowing I may very well never see her again? It hurts my heart just to think of it. Other good byes hurt. But this one hurts the worst. I can't "talk to her" from afar. I speak English. She speaks Turkish. In person we can combine them into a language that works. But neither of us write
And thinking of Hatice is just the beginning.
I am trying to not get ahead of myself, but the truth is that when I return from Florida in March, we will have three months before we leave this place forever. And it isn't the place
I am going to miss. It is the amazing community of people here.
How do I possibly say good bye to Hatice? To Angelica. To Stebbs. To Sarahbee and Linda and Patty. Rana, Angie, Tina, the other Sarah. Even the "newer" friends like Casey and Logan and Anu and Christina and Cathy and Bri are becoming difficult to imagine. It hurts my heart to think about. And I am sure I am not listing someone. I hate to even begin to list in fear of leaving someone out.
I have said good byes before. But these ones are different. This Base is isolated. We are all each other has. There are very few last minute flights to spend Christmas with family. We spend it withe ach other.
Last night Angelica invited us over for an impromptu birthday dinner and we surprised JB when a few other couples showed up to share dessert. Last year I had an appendicits and was scooped up with care. Post partum depression. Shane and Linda and Yamil and Patty are aunts and uncles to my kiddos. Another family just asked us to be the goddaughter of their newest addition. People to watch Scrubs. Meals to share. Holidays to connect on. Favors to give. Babysitting for free. Clothes to borrow and toys to swap. We take care of each other like nothing I have ever seen.
I'm not in love with Turkey. Not in love with Incirlik. But I am in love with the people who have been my only connection to "my world" for two years.
Hatice reminded me how soon I will have to say good bye to all of it.
And I don't want to. I hate that I have to. I know I can't stay forever, but I sure wish it could hurt a lot less.