Something I wrote on the plane yesterday...
It's painful to leave a place behind, but it's even more painful to leave people you love along with it. This Singapore trip to come see my sister & her family is a little different from my others, thanks in large part to the companionship of my closest friend (and lack thereof, of my usual travel-buddies: other siblings). We packed, we flew, we saw, we hugged, we laughed, we shopped, we experienced, we cried, then sadly, we left.
Ultimately, my posts regarding Singapore all boil down to the parting. I've described it by many ways in the past, and while all are accurate, no words will ever be enough to describe the gut-wrenching, pit-falling, heart-squeezing stab of pain you experience every time you part with someone you love.
I thought today would be easier, and maybe, in some ways, it was. I thought that by leaving early in the morning, with almost no room, no time for stretched-out and prolonged goodbyes, with no bonding moments and memories from that day itself, it would be less painful and less teary. But like ripping off a bandaid, sharp, immediate and instantaneous, the stab of pain is surprising, cutting off your air in that perfect moment of exhaling. You choke on a sob, and flashes of trying to get your head above sea water comes to mind. There is a mad dash and scramble with your composure and just when you think you've reigned it in, your face scrunches up in that ugly crying face that can soften even the hardest of hearts.
I guess that is what happens when you rip off the bandaid before the wound turns into a scab; when you expose the opened, bruised, and scratched tissues of yourself. There is a dark sickly taste of rust in your mouth as the wind glides over the wound. Right now, ripped away long before I am ready, my nose is filled with snot, my eyes look like red saucers or tomatoes, my mouth tastes salty tears, I feel the pang of hurt in my opened heart. But as I fly home, with memories that'll have to do for now, my closest friend sleeping soundly beside me in the plane, and my sister's, brother-in-law's, and niece's voices still fresh in my ear, I take with me the comfort of Drei's words: There are no goodbyes, just see you laters.
So mommy Mai, kuya Vince, and Ally... I'll see you later.