This week is going to be bittersweet. I’m getting so excited for Christmas this year, but it is also time to say goodbye to my dear friend Tyler, who is moving back to North Carolina after studying law here in Cardiff for four years. I’m still struggling to come to terms with it as I thought we had him in the UK until the end of summer term next year, but alas, he must leave early. Every time I think of tomorrow, tears fill my eyes and I have to stop thinking about it.
Tyler and I met in autumn 2009 when he came to Cardiff for his Erasmus semester. He was sat in front of me and had been given the task of asking questions after I had given a presentation. Tyler isn’t really a fan of modern social history and given that my presentation was on women’s history he pretty much had planned to grill me before it started! After class I questioned his accent (thinking he was from North Carolina as I have a close friend there) and it only turned out that he was the exact same place! He returned to Cardiff the following year to start a law degree and over the last four years he has become part of my family. Not only have we become close, but I have become close wit his family who have visited him in Cardiff. When we visited Florida last year, Tyler’s mom made the nine hour drive down to holiday with us and shared Megan’s birthday with us in July when they returned to attend his graduation.
He has been there with me through through the highs and lows of the last four years and is one of the most important people that I give credit to giving me the courage and confidence in my faith. I will now be at a loss on a Wednesday afternoon, which has been our regular lunch date once I’ve finished work. We started preparing officially for his departure on Thanksgiving, where Tyler cooked for us all at his apartment. Last Wednesday saw our finally Wednesday lunch / coffee meet up and on Thursday evening I cooked a traditional British roast pork dinner (complete with apple sauce), which was accompanied by my new favourite, Carolina Coast Spiced Rum, coke and cards!
We spent the afternoon on Sunday at his apartment reminiscing over the last few years and today I headed down to the Bay to drop of his and his mom’s birthday and Christmas gifts, help finish his packing (to be fair, I only sat on his case so that it closed!), then headed out for our final lunch.
There was no choice to be made about over which restaurant to eat at, we head straight to Las Iguanas for food and 2-4-1 cocktails. We ordered our usual – burritos, honey peri-peri chicken and Cuba Libres. It was a beautiful day down the Bay, the sun was out and it was so warm through the window it actually felt like summer.
To say that I’m going to miss my (adopted) little bro is a huge understatement, but I’m so incredibly proud of all he has achieved here in Cardiff and know that he is going home to a fine future in law, and I’m looking forward to the next installment of his journey. This is most definitely “I’ll be seeing you” and not “goodbye”, as amidst the tears that are rolling down my cheeks now we’ve said goodbye, I’m looking forward to planning trips to visit him and his family. Most definitely for Thanksgiving one year as he cooks a mean turkey, plus somebody has to be responsible for making sure he does not lose that British twang he now has to his accent!! Apparently, the girls back home are going to love it!
Linking up with Shanna