Thursday, December 16, 2010

Saying Goodbye

We've begun the process of lasts and of saying goodbye.  Last week was our last session at Community Bible Study.  Tonight was the last time I'll play bunco with my long running bunco group.  Tomorrow will be the last sleepover for my son with his two best friends.  A list of lasts and goodbyes stretches out before us.  The last trip to the orthodontist, the last trip to Graeter's for ice cream, the last time we go to our church.  Some lasts have already passed us by and we didn't even realize it.  We didn't know we needed to say goodbye to the dentist or the doctor during our last visit.  We didn't celebrate our last trip to the lake or to the ski slopes. 

My children aren't as aware of the goodbyes as I am.  They enjoy each moment and don't spend a lot of time thinking about lasts.  That's a gift and I'm hesitant to mark the lasts for them. I want them to savor each moment without the sadness.  Enjoying the present without feeling the loss is a great thing. 

I spent a few hours in my neighbor's home earlier today wrapping the Christmas gifts that she let me stash in her spare room.  I was there alone and the house was quiet.  It was such a blessing to have that time, to wrap and think about my children and the blessings we've had in this place.  After my neighbor arrived home, we enjoyed a glass of wine and some quiet conversation.  Even as I soaked up her home and her company, I felt the sense of loss.  She felt it too. 

This is my least favorite part of moving.  Each goodbye reminds me of slowly peeling away a band-aid.  It would be so much easier to just give it a good yank and be done with it.  I know the next two weeks are going to be even harder.  Some goodbyes are going to hurt way more than ripping a band-aid.  There are neighbors and best friends that will remain in our hearts if not in our lives.  Those goodbyes are going to leave a mark.  And they should.  The people that matter to us should leave their mark in our lives.  We hope we will leave a mark in theirs.

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