Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The last week on Hokkaido day by day: Thursday

I had my last class at Nishi today. I had 2 classes of grade 1 students. They’re incredibly genki and I had a great time. I had wanted to take a bunch of video in the school but the teacher wouldn’t let me. I did however manage to snag the following video upon my departure!For some reason leaving this school wasn’t as hard as I thought it was going to be. Perhaps I’m getting more used to the fact that I won’t be doing this anymore. After class I went by the town office in Memuro to say good-bye and get my last paycheck paid out in cash. I went to City Hall with my supervisor, picked up the cash and then we said our good-byes. I darted back over to Nishi because the teacher wanted to meet Keenan. It was near pandemonium but he kept good control of the kids and we had a great visit. Then I darted over to JA to close my bank account and Keenan got a free Anpanman fan for his unbearable acts of cuteness!

In the afternoon we got some more packing and cleaning done and then Eiko came over for what should have been our last visit. She brought us all nice gifts but the best one was for Keenan. Eiko and Keenan are very good friends and Keenan loves it when she sings Japanese nursery rhymes to him. So Eiko bought him a book of 6 nursery rhymes that are written out in hiragana and katakana and the book plays the melodies you can sing along to. He absolutely loves it and we do too cause we can learn the words to the songs and sing them to him. Eiko also brought some nice sweets over and we had tea and sweets together in the middle of our near bare living room. It was a really lovely afternoon and I just couldn’t imagine it would be our last visit for a long time. We talked about times gone by and how much we were going to miss each other. There were lots of tears and we were all filled with sadness. Sean and I left Keenan with Eiko and the two of us went to the post office to mail 2 boxes. In the car on the way home we discussed how difficult it was to say good bye to Eiko so we decided to invite her out for dinner the next night. Hopefully we could put off the good-bye as long as possible.

When we got home Eiko helped Sean with his Sayonara speech in Japanese. Keenan’s teeth were really bothering him and I finally got him down late for an afternoon nap. After Sean and Eiko were finished we made plans to get together for dinner on Friday night. Eiko went on her way and shortly after 7 Keiko showed up. We had a thrown together dinner of all the food items in the fridge and cupboards that would have otherwise gotten thrown away. We sat around and talked, played with Keenan and did lots of laughing. We shared the last of the amazing tea Keiko brought me from Toyko 2 years ago and had some more sweets. Keenan started getting very clingy and whingy and it was getting difficult to hear our own voices. As this week wore on Keenan became more clingy and whingy with each passing day. We were very careful about packing his things up last and not rocking his world too much. He’s generally all for change but we weren’t too sure how he’d react to his home being packed up. By Wednesday I think he know something serious was going on and found it very stressful to lose sight of either of us. We’ve had to really work at being sensitive to his feelings as we’ve been so wrapped up in our own emotions and to be quite honest a day full of whinging doesn’t leave you with much empathy. So after about 15 minutes of the 3 of us trying to have a conversation we decided it might be a good idea if Keiko went home. So I got my beloved rocking chair out of Keenan’s room and we talked about how much I was going to miss it. Keenan and I have spent soooo many hours in that chair together and it’s just terribly heartbreaking for me to imagine it gone. We talked about the new family it would be going to and I asked Keiko to tell them that if they ever wanted to get rid of it they’d have to get in touch with me. I don’t know, maybe we can arrange to have it taken apart and shipped to us. Or maybe in the coming days/weeks/months I’ll get over it. For now though it’s hard to imagine that point in time. I carried the chair downstairs for her and we loaded it into her SUV. Then we stood downstairs in the grass, in the dark and said our “till we see you agains”. We hugged for a good long time and talked about how much our friendship meant to us. We shared some tears and Keiko promised to get herself on the Canadian conference circuit for immunology! I went back upstairs and I didn’t cry, I bawled. It was the first time Keenan ever saw me do that and he looked very concerned. The 3 of us had a nice big hug and Sean and I talked about the pain of leaving our good friends behind. If we would’ve had to say good-bye to Eiko and Keiko on the same day I would have been a nut-job by the days end. Thank God we averted that disaster! So I put Keenan to bed without our beautiful rocking chair. I carefully laid him in his crib for the last night before we dissembled it and brought it to the recycle shop. Poor boy I hope that doesn't stress him out too much.

After Keenan was sound asleep Sean and I did lots of cleaning. He tackled the freezer and fridge and I did more sorting of our stuff, stripped the bed and put away the laundry. We went to bed very late and were even too tired to watch Lost.

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