Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Bon voyage

Growing up, my sister Gillian (now affectionately known as Gigi to her friends and family) was always the tougher, more stubborn, straighter shooting sibling. This is the kid who would fall down, scrape her knee, and proceed to beat on the sidewalk and call it names. The kid who once looked across a room full of people at my parents Christmas party, pointed at one of their house guests, and proclaimed "I don't like dat man." Her wild curls and mischievous smile only added to her carefree personality. I, on the other hand, was the gentler, worried, older sister (my family nicknamed me Memere at a very young age).  

Despite our differences, Gigi and I were always, and still are, the best of friends. No one makes me laugh like my sister, and when we're together, it's like we speak our own language. Once, at a party, someone made a comment that we just sat in the corner the whole time, laughing at our own jokes. We compared ourselves to the two old men from the Muppets and laughed even harder. 

Over the past few years, our lives have taken different paths. I veered off on the traditional path - got married, bought a house, got a yellow lab and had a baby. Gigi followed a more unconventional path - living in Toronto, establishing a wonderful group of friends, working hard, zooming around the city on her bicycle, and being the go-to girl for the trendiest restaurants and shopping spots. Our lives were pretty different, but we always found time (usually a good hour a couple of times a week) to catch each other up on what was going on.  

Last winter, just after Christmas, Gigi announced that she was moving to London, England. This was followed by many questions from my dad and I, the most prominent one being WHY? Why do you want to move there? What are you going to do there? It's SO far away! When will we ever see you? Are you really going to go? Deep down, we knew the answers to all of these questions. Gigi was going because she wanted adventure. She wanted to explore the world. She was determined to get a job, and that way she could travel Europe and come home as often as she wanted.

Deep down, although we hoped (for selfish reasons) that she would change her mind, my dad and I both knew that our determined, stubborn, little Gigi was going to England. Deep down, we also both understood why, and we knew we had to be supportive about her move. If you know Gigi, you know that trying to convince her not to do something will only piss her right off - and make her want to do it even more. But goddamn it - we're going to miss her. See, our little clan is pretty tight - we do best together. 

And so tonight, Gigi will board a plane that will take her to her new adventure across the Atlantic. She's done her homework. Her work visa is intact. She has a great job waiting for her. She's already established a few contacts in London. I'm not worried about her in the least. Frankly I'm more worried about me, how I'll survive knowing a piece of my heart is so far away. But I'll be ok.We'll have FaceTime and Skype and I'll be waiting anxiously to hear about all of her adventures across the pond. I'm so excited for her.

Now, there are no more questions, no more words, except a few important ones.

Good luck.
We love you.  
We'll miss you.  
We'll see you soon.  

Go get 'em, Gigi.  


  1. Ah so beautifully said! Best of luck Gigi!!! Have a pint for me.

  2. Woo hoo!! Gigi - I can hardly wait to hear about your travels and adventures. Love you. xoxo