It’s been a rough week. Cinder was sick, I had fight with my best friend who isn’t handling my leaving very well, and shipping my belongings cost way more than I thought it would due to an unforeseen tax on the Italian side. So when my friends said they were throwing a party for me on Friday night to say goodbye, I just hoped I would be in a good enough mood to appreciate their efforts.
In my time in New York, I’ve hosted a lot of gatherings, game nights and holiday festivities. The same core group of people always attend, with a sprinkling each year of new faces and new friends. So when I arrived at Bonny and Paul’s home on Friday night and saw all my people who have become my New York family over the years, the cares and stress of the week melted away. Some of these people I see every day in the park. We know all the intimate details about each other’s lives and dogs, and we know if we need help, we can call and we’ll be there for each other. Some of the people who attended weren’t from my dog world, but were relationships developed in other ways over the years, bookclubs, neighbors.
Everyone brought food. We drank margaritas all night, and just talked. We reminisced about game nights, park horror stories, and our shared memories. Most of all we laughed. It was just so great to have one more chance to connect with everyone…with the added bonus of not having the responsibility of hostess. My friends even raised some funds to help me on my way with my new adventure and I was extremely touched by this since most don’t have much money themselves.
I didn’t cry last night as I hugged goodbyes with these people who I know I won’t see for a long time, but the tears are flowing now as I write, and, as the end of this week draws near, they will surely be on free fall.
Even though my path is leading me in a new direction and new adventures await, I am sad to leave behind good friends whom I care about very much. People who have seen me through the death of my first dog, Miranda and the death of my friend Susan. Friends who have encouraged my writing and never fail to ask how each project is going. Friends who can tell when I’m stressed, happy, worried, sad or joyful. Friends who know I love margaritas. Friends who share my concern over Cinder’s health. And friends who truly wish me the best in my new life.
At the end of what was a very special evening, I joked that the Christmas party would be in Italy this year and that the first person to book can have the sofa bed. Everyone promised to come and visit. I truly hope they do.