I have a very vivid memory of being 12 years old and walking around the house and thinking "I should really appreciate and enjoy the life that I have now, because it is all going to go away soon".
Our large and beautiful home, my big and bright room with the pink walls and red window coverings filled with all of my beloved toys and belongings, and my lovely parents right there with me, just the three of us living a peaceful and happy life. I had wonderful friends in the neighborhood as well as in school, I enjoyed my school and was great at it, I was popular with the kids and the teachers loved me. I was growing up and learning new and exciting things, I was starting to venture out independently more and experience new things and have more and more fun. Everything in my life was going wonderfully and I knew that it was all going to end soon, and it did.
It was in the middle of summer when my parents started packing up our things in the home and started packing suitcases for us. It was really happening, I was being taken away from my home, my friends, my school, the only life I ever knew and loved. All of my objections and complaints did not seem to have any affect on what was happening, I felt desperate and helpless. The memory of packing is not as vivid for me, not as much as the memory of the pain I felt in my heart and the feeling of helplessness as I knew I could not stop this. It felt like I was being pushed by a strong tide and no matter how hard I tried to swim against it... no use.
The goodbyes started happening sporadically with relatives and distant friends, but it was not until the last night when our home was filled with family and close friends who were there to say goodbye to us that it became unbearable.
That night every moment was heart wrenching. I remember being so angry at my parents for doing this to me and "ruining my life", I was happy and they were taking it all away from me. I shed countless tears while saying good bye to each person who left our home at the end of that night. No one could console me.
I did not not think about the future and where I was going, I did not feel joy or excitement and did not look forward to a new life, I only thought about the wonderful life that I was leaving behind. I knew that a great chapter of my life was coming to an end and I was not ready for it. I remember feeling like I was losing a special and privileged life and no one seemed to understand or care.
I have no or very vague memories of the moment of leaving our home for the last time, the airport, the final goodbyes in the airport or even the airplane. My true last memory is the night in our home with all of our family and friends in it.
Looking back now, I was right, my life was at it's most perfect shape then, a privileged one which was never ever the same again.