Hattie looked up and down the street. “Where are they?” her eyes pleaded. Beedle howled, prowled, and meowed piteously.
Al, my five-year-old boy-next-door, came over, walked right in, (no knocking, that Al) and asked, “Where are the Australians?” I told him they were gone. “They’re gone? They’re gone? They’ve gone home? Back to Australia?” he asked.
“Did you get them off to the airport? How are you?” Al’s mother asked. I told her I couldn’t talk about it. I can’t. I know I will see them again. But Australia is so FAR. Two years is so LONG. It was really, really hard to say, “See you in two years,” this time. We never say good-by, of course.
I called across the security line, “You have too much stuff. You have to stay!” The couple sitting behind me in the airport rocking chairs said, “Spoken like a true mother. And grandma.” I waved until I could barely see their itsy figures turning the corner of the airline gates. They waved back, and that is how I knew they turned that damn corner. Safe travels, dear ones.
It is pretty quiet here tonight. But they are here, anyway. Always. In my heart.