Oh my gosh....this sounds so dramatic, but honestly, bits of my heart are staying with the extraordinary souls I was so blessed to meet.
About 10 months ago I said goodbye to Rebecca. She was the most cosmopolitan friend I have had. Her mother is Swiss. Her Dad is Australian. Although she grew up in Australia, she went to college in the USA. Married an American. Worked for a year in the UK at an upscale bar. Celebrity upscale. And then moved to Germany. Rebecca reminded me of my sister Allison. Once we were walking to the park in my town. As Rebecca pushed the stroller with one hand, sipped coffee from the mug she held in her other hand and nursed her baby in the Ergo, she casually said, "You really need to learn how to nurse on the go!" My response, "But I am not super woman!" Only Rebecca! They PCSed to San Antonio. Our old stomping ground. Pierce still asks about Sebastian. Although they egged each other on to a reckless point of misbehavior they had so much fun together.
Three months ago the Jones wrapped up their time here and moved to South Carolina. How I miss Laura! There was never a chance to be in a foul mood when Laura was around. Her vivaciousness reminded me of Theresa. And I kinda think sis had a hand in our meeting!About 5 months after we moved to Germany I signed Pierce up for gymnastics. I was so concerned about him behaving that I honestly didn't notice a single other mom and tot. At the end of class a Mom with beautiful long blonde hair and laughing eyes bounced up to me, "Hey....we both have boys in the class. I think maybe we should hang out. Here is my number. I mean....we should get the boys together at least. Call me!" Ha....and from that day forward Laura and I were friends. Ironically, Rob worked as a Doc in the ER when he wasn't deployed. So actually, him and Alex had already met! Rob is just as likable as Laura and one of the best matched couples I have ever met. Besides, they have 3 sons and someday maybe I will call one son-in-law!
When I was training for my marathon I met Nick Obry. I was on mile 7 of a 10 miler.......pushing the Chariot. He came riding up behind me on his road bike and introduced himself. I thought he was a nice chap, but didn't think much more about him until my marathon. A few hours after the marathon I received a FB message from him saying congrats and that I placed in my age group. I never would have thought someone I met briefly would care to remember what day I was racing and then to look up race results none the less. That too reminded me of Theresa, being as excited for me as she would been for herself! Anyway, after the marathon Nick and I became running buddies. Two weeks ago Amy, Nick and I ran the Worms Half Marathon. He ran the whole thing with me. At mile 10, I wanted to chuck my shoe at him when he kept shouting, "Margaret you are third girl. Second place gets a trip to Hawaii.......c'mon Margaret, you have this. The next girl is slowing down." I never did pass that second girl, but was touched by Nick's encouragement. Well....maybe only in hindsight! At any rate I count Nick as a very dear friend and will miss our runs.
I met Amy at the Catholic Women of the Chapel's monthly dinner. Before moving to Germany I had no girl friends to speak of. I talked to Theresa almost every day and never felt the need to have any other womanly interactions. However, once I arrived in Germany I swore to myself that it was time for anti-social me to poke out of my shell and meet some gals. The first few mom groups I attended were total flops in regards to making friends. However, I distinctly remember walking in to the CWOC dinner social. I looked around the room and thought, "Oh damn.....why am I putting myself in these awkward situations?" Then I saw a face I had seen in Mass, I promptly walked up to her and said, "Hi....I don't know anyone here but I have seen you in Mass before. My name is Margaret." After learning that I liked to run, that lady introduced me to Amy( an avid runner) once she arrived at the meeting. And Amy is a delight!
I think she is one of the most beautiful women I have ever met, with exceptional style! AJ jibes me, "I hope you look that good when your in you mid-40s!" Its true.....Amy is gorgeous! And her heart is made of solid gold. We have ran a couple races together, sweated to P90X in her garage, and escaped on numerous girl outings. I will miss Amy!
Last Sunday we had dinner at Gunther and Karen's house. Frankly, I could go on and on and on and on about Gunther's kindness to Alex, the kids and me. But it's pointless. I can't do it justice and it just makes me tear up. Gunther stopped by an average of 10 times a weeks. Often once in the afternoon to talk to me and in the evening to talk to Alex. He let himself around back through the gate and then, "Rap rap rap!" on the glass door. Sometimes I thought, "Lord...not Gunther again." But he wormed his way deep in to my heart and Alex's. It was the hardest goodbye. Feeling AJ's emotion made it even harder. Gunther meant the world to Alex, but Alex also meant the world to Gunther.
Today Gerda invited us over for coffee, cake and farewell. Pius opened the door and as we walked in we heard Gunther's deep voice, "Gretel....mein schatz!" We thought it was just going to be Gerda and Pius, but she had invited Karen and Gunther down as well. When we left AJ's exact words were, "When I heard Gunther's voice my heart swelled." Oh...if that doesn't wet my eyes!
Anyway......we had a lovely afternoon eating Gerda's delicious cake and visiting. And it was best to see Gunther again. But typing this right now....I can still hardly believe that today was it. Oh balderdash....it really makes me sad. Left and right people have extended themselves to us. Although I feel blessed, it is hard to walk away from that. I hope someday I can give of myself as generously!
But on a brighter note. As soon as we pulled into TLF and got out of the car, we saw a full rainbow stretched across the sky. And I heard in my heart, "Margaret, remember my covenant to Noah? It's bigger than never sending a flood again. It is a promise that I am here, with you in all places and all people no matter where you go, no matter where you live. I am everywhere, in everything and everyone."