There's a tradition in the military/foreign service lifestyle of giving/selling your worldly possessions when you leave. It's a little bit creepy, like picking through Aunt Edna's stuff after she's died, except that you're usually accompanied by the deceased.
My real life Warsaw bff, Globetrekking Mom, is leaving sooner than expected. So, being the good friends that we are, we've engaged in the tradition of picking through her things and taking all the good stuff. Because I had just cleared out my kids' toys in anticipation of birthday/Christmas/birthday season, my kids are thrilled with the new stuff. (And I'm totally getting over on these poor deprived children, by only allowing them one "new" toy a day and only after they have done some housekeeping - because goodness knows I don't have time to do the housekeeping - I blog!)
While this is all very cool - you know, getting stuff for free - it's hard to do. I will miss Milena and her kids tremendously. As I look at all the "new" stuff, I am reminded that my dear friend is leaving. That she's leaving unexpectedly, which will be harder than usual on her family. That when I return from Christmas break, I will be working alone on Monday mornings, with no one to have my 2 hour long coffee breaks with and chat about everything in our lives, all while "guarding the złoty".
But, when I look at the stuff, I will be reminded of a wonderful friendship that will hopefully surpass time, distance, and space (through the awesomeness of Facebook, blogs, and email), and that we will someday be reunited back in the home of all displaced diplomats.
I hope you had the time of your life.