June 2, 2014
There were a lot of tears this week. Tears of others, and those of me. The other day I had one last walk with M. By this point in the series of goodbyes, my eyes were dry. I couldn’t really cry anymore. Business had to be done. My home needed to be packed up; bags needed to be packed for the next leg of summer travels; people on the other end of those travels needed to be contacted; wedding planning needed to be done . . . No time for tears.
Instead, I told her that I couldn’t really handle saying goodbye, so I was going to just pretend that it was just another afternoon walk for us. We had even opted for a boring walk around the school playground, choosing something as normal as possible before our normalcy would be gone. As we talked, we spoke of next year. We prayed for the holes in each of our hearts to be filled. Our friendship had been a gift, filling a neediness in each of us. We must, then, trust that this neediness next year will be filled. Somehow.
Then, as our time ran away from us, we hopped on our bikes, as usual. We biked slowly together towards the school entrance, as usual. We waved, as usual. “Have a good evening,” she called out. “You too,” I replied. “See ya tomorrow,” I lied. I turned into my gate and clenched my teeth. So much for those dry eyes, I muttered to myself, as I blinked my way home.
I should be used to this. This is the nature of life here. Sometimes I’m the one leaving. Sometimes I’m the one staying. I don’t know which is harder. I do know that it gets harder the older I get, which I didn’t expect. And that is where, I suppose, He gives provision as needed. This time I say goodbye to some as I stay put and begin a very new sort of journey. This time it is a journey into consistency . . . a journey into commitment; connubiality; conjugality; name your synonym, I suppose :-) That most normal, yet most mysterious of gifts. Lord grant me the ability to embrace this new season with a grace beyond me.