Saying Goodbye part one: Friends

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.

7 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye part one: Friends

  1. Hi Jen,
    I missed out on saying goodbye to you in person, but have enjoyed your blog stories and wish you all the best in your new life in Italy. Glad to hear you got to share some good laughs with your friends before leaving!
    A hug,

  2. Hi Jen,
    I had problems with my email account that were finally resolved today! I think I missed calling you in New York before you left. I have been an avid reader of your blog and was so hoping that we would be able to speak before you moved. I can’t believe that you made this happen for yourself. It must be so exciting this new uncharted chapter of your life. I hope that we can chat on Skype soon and that you at least have an email address where I can reach you so we can keep in touch. Christina is going to be in Florence for three weeks in May. She is renting a flat and working on her thesis for her Masters degree. Let me know how we can reach you, please!!! Big hug to Cinder.


  3. Hey Jen,

    When you read this, you’ll be in your new country, wow! I’m thinking of you today, with your travels and hoping both you and Cinder did well. I don’t know what time your flight was but it’s already six hours later so hopefully you’ve had a chance to relax and settle in with a nice bottle of local wine, some good cheese and bread. If not today, then tomorrow. I’m sorry we didn’t get to come by again before you left. XO – Love, Susan (and Angelo & Chloe)

  4. Jen,
    We missed giving you a group hug in person but know we are sending you one now! I hope Cinder weathered the flight ok. I’m glad there is email so we can stay in touch. Feather sends her love, too.

  5. Dear Aunt Jen:

    Though we never met, I do feel as if I know you very well. My parents asked me to wish you nothing but well wishes in your new home. The next time they travel to Italy, you know they will come by and share a bottle of wine (or three).

    Ryder and Grant would love to make the trip as well, as they remember the big grey dog and that beautiful apartment in NY.

    We love you Aunt Jen.

    Murphy (and my dad) Kaplan

  6. Jen,

    So glad you and Cinder arrived safely. Sounds like you are settling in beautifully. Tank and Neil send their love. Love reading you blog. Pictures are great too.


  7. I just finished reading your entries for the first time (Today is May 7th) and they have a serene feel to them. I hope this is indicative of your mood and in keeping with your hopes. I trust you realize how many people are cheering you on from this side of the Atlantic. We not only believe in you, we admire you. And I know you will sleep better knowing that Alice, though she misses you terribly, has made a fluid adjustment to Ani. Enjoy yourself, Jen, God knows you’ve earned it!

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