Goodbyes are great!
okay, maybe they aren’t great, but I don’t hate them. I don’t look forward to them, and don’t seek them out, but I think they reveal some very important things. First of all, if you are the one leaving then you are starting a new chapter, section or paragraph, something different. If you are the one staying, well then you are excited for your friend, excited to hear what they end up doing, where they are going, what they encounter and the chance to see them again. I find the difficult thing is if you are the one leaving, your mind is not always on the moment. Your mind is on your travels, ” did I pack enough chargers, did I cancel the cable, the phone, everything?, Did I make the reservations, are my bags to heavy, who is this hugging me and crying on my shoulders?”
Secondly, hard goodbyes really show you something. Those goodbyes you are dreading the most, the ones you save for last, the ones that every time you think about saying goodbye a lump forms in your throat and your stomach churns to the verge of throwing up. Those are the good ones. Those are the ones that let you know that you made an impact on someone’s life and they made an impact on yours. Those people, those moments are life changers. I think we should all strive to build those kind of relationships, those relationships that hurt like a kick in the gut when it is time to let go. For if the pain is that severe, then the good times were that much grander.
Soldotna has been a life changer for us. We have never had such hard goodbyes. We had invested so much of our lives in the community, in our church and in our friends, we had let down our guards and lived for the moment, so that it hurt real bad to say goodbye. It wasn’t like a kick in the stomach, it was like a good old-fashioned UFC beat down. We said goodbye on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday and with each goodbye it got harder and harder, the awkwardness building up to the moment, to that final hug is almost unbearable. This time, I have never seen so many tears, sobs and snot for that matter.I have never felt so much tension and seen the art of postponement used to such extreme extent. It is an amazing feeling, a true blessing to know that so many people care about you and you care about so many people.
And although my mind was in a haze of massive details involved in relocating nine people to another country, I still managed to feel the pain. I still managed to shed tears and snot, and I still managed to feel that deep heavy weight buried in my soul; especially when I had to apologize to one very special girl for leaving her behind. I felt it in every hug, in every letter and card and in every passing moment. Yes it hurt, yes it was the second most grief and heaviness I have ever felt and it made my head, heart, back, throat and soul ache. But I reveled in every goodbye, I reveled in the awkward postponement and I reveled in the pain. So enjoy those goodbyes, enjoy that fact that someone you love is leaving, but remember it only hurts because you cared. Also remember, the pain is fleeting but your impact is eternal.
Goodbye, and Hasta la Pronto