It is yet another farewell that hurts, even though I knew it was coming. Only... I expected to spend a little more time together before she left.
She is the last one of the gang - apart from myself - arriving at the kids' school back in 2011. We were all new to the city but for most it was not the first expatriation. We formed an eclectic group based on the sole common factor that our kids were in the same grade and we were therefore thrown into contact with each other.
She was the friend you don't expect. The person you get to know better because destiny has decided to make your paths cross rather than leading you along parallel roads.
Instead of gradually evolving, our friendship just clicked one day and we both knew intuitively that we had made a friend for life. It was after having realised this not too long ago, that we made the effort to meet up more often.
She is an international business woman and a super mum juggling travel with school plays and junior football matches. She is the power house always full of energy. Everytime we manage to meet - which unfortunately is less than we'd liked to due to her travelschedule - her smile greets me long before she's close enough to hug me.
We have managed to extract moments of our busy family schedules over these past months, to celebrate our independency and value our friendship as we have gotten to know each other better over an Aperò or a Japanese meal.
I don't think she knows how much I will miss her when she leaves after Christmas.
There will be no more Swedish meatballs served at Internatioanl Day and someone else will be leading the Santa Lucia festival next December and there'll be no one to secretly share an entire bottle of Prosecco with during the End-of School-Year picnic!
I guess I will just have to travel to Frankfurt for Happy Hour!!!