• Atisha Sooklall

Until we meet again...


Time flew by and before we knew it, it was already January 2020. New year, new beginnings. We completed the online application for the place we had found in the USA, luckily for us, they had an available apartment. Unfortunately, they don’t hold apartments, so we had to start paying rent from January even though we only needed the apartment from Feb. As simple as that process was, there was tiresome admin that accompanied it. We had to register our own accounts for water, electricity, and insurance. This meant long-distance phone calls, being on hold forever and these companies asking us to come in and sign physical documents, which we could not do. And it just made it worse as it was three separate companies to deal with, and without these accounts being set up and working, our lease would not be active. Nevertheless, I didn’t have to deal with any of this because my husband sorted out all the admin…I know, he is the best…


So while I escaped the admin part, I couldn’t hide from the packing. You would be surprised at the amount of junk we accumulated in just three years of living together. Before the furniture removal company would come in and pack everything up for us, we had to decide what is going, what is staying, and what we needed to get rid of. Let's just say it took us a few days to get through everything, spring clean and get rid of what we didn’t need anymore. We sold off what we could and gave away what we couldn’t. What remained had to be packed and shipped.

Whilst sorting out last-minute admin, packing, and getting our lives in order, we also had an emotional toll that was starting to set in. Every time we saw either of our mothers it was waterworks. Even if it was just a quick pop in for tea, it was like this is the last time we are drinking tea together, or this is the last time we are going shopping together. Well only a mother will understand a mother’s love. Our fathers put on brave faces just like us, but inside we know they love us just as much as our mothers do. We decided that we should stay with our parents in the last week before we left South Africa so that we could spend as much time with them as possible.


The day of packing up the house finally arrived. The furniture removal guys pitched up bright and early. I thought it would take a few hours and they would be in and out but it actually took up the entire day. My husband was lucky to escape this task as he had to be at work, but luckily for me, my dad and my mother in law were there to assist. You would think it would be easy, sit back and relax, while the furniture guys pack. It's not that simple, you have to keep checking what they are packing and how they are packing it. Also, my mother in law and I like to delegate, so we kept telling them how to do their job, I don’t think they were impressed with us…


We also had a huge mirror that needed to be packed and shipped. I was the most stressed about this mirror reaching the USA safely and in good condition. The removal guys brought along a wooden crate to put the mirror into and it was the wrong size. They said they would take it in a blanket and package it as their warehouse, I was like “there is no way that mirror is leaving here unless it is packaged properly in front of me”. So one of their guys left to get the right size crate, while the others continued to pack. The guy returned with the right size crate and they put the mirror in the box. My mother in law and I made them take the mirror out of the crate at least 3 times, and wrap it with bubble wrap, then with a soft wrap on the corners, and lastly to shock the crate full of plastic and paper. I also made them put on extra stickers that said “handle with care” and “fragile.” After this those guys were definitely not impressed with us…oh well…


January also had a few more celebrations in store for us, like my sister-in-laws birthday. Thanks to her boyfriend for throwing her a great party, we got to have one last bash before our departure. My sister also got engaged, super proud of her and everything she has accomplished. We spent the last week with our families by making memories. Eating our favorite meals prepared by our mothers and doing last-minute shopping for things we needed to take with us. And then it was time to leave…


We got to the airport a little earlier so that we could spend some time with everyone before we left. All our closest friends and families came to the airport to see us off. And by closest, I mean there were over 50 people at the airport waiting to see us off.


Eventually, it was time to say goodbye. Some goodbyes were happy and light, some had to be done with a heavy heart and some goodbyes couldn’t be said, rather I’ll see you soon was said instead. The emotions took over as my heart sunk and the tears flowed. The realization set in, that today was our last day with everyone and we don’t know when we would see everyone again. It was the most painful thing to say goodbye to our grandparents, as we could see how they were struggling to let us go. Our parents told us not to turn back once we leave, so we said our final goodbye and left with tears in our eyes and pounding hearts in our chests.


My body was walking away, my heart was pounding and my mind was trying to calm the emotional storm that was brewing inside me but my body, heart, and mind were out of sync. It took us a few minutes to breath, and calm down before we even spoke to each other. We had a long hug in silence which helped to calm each other. Once we were done with the security check-in, we headed straight to the slow lounge for a drink, God knows we both needed it. That helped to calm the nerves. We checked in with our siblings one last time before we left, just to make sure our parents were ok.

And then there was lift-off…The beginning of our lives in the USA awaited us.

Catch up soon, another day with another story…


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