My company finalised purchasing tickets this week. It was a week out of the ordinary for me, with lots of culminating concert rehearsals and MAP testing schedules to iron out and trying to find time to get a workout in as I’ve committed to running a 10K in less than a month. On Tuesday afternoon my prep was filled with contacting insurance companies and making appointments for a very whirlwind unexpected medical trip to the mainland to see a specialist about my wrist.
Then this weekend the weather was spectacular. I spent all day outside enjoying the beach and driving to the market and hanging out. I woke up Sunday to more great weather and after church some of us all went and got the most amazing BBQ duck/pumpkin dish together. None of the realisations that were about to hit me had hit me yet.
My phone kept going off with texts from friends who were headed to the beach. I was sitting in the back back of the Brenneman’s car (an entirely different riding experience going backward) and then it hit me. Leaving. In less than 47 days, some of my greatest friends I’ve made here are leaving. And new people will come in sure — but I hate being the one left behind. It’s so much easier being the one whose leaving. I’m not trying to disregard summer — I’m excited to visit friends over the break — dear friends who haven’t stopped being my friends despite various country moves — but I’m mourning the goodbyes I know I’ll have to say and the fact I don’t want to say them. It makes me want to cry but at the same time… this happens all the time. Why doesn’t it get easier?
“Every time we make the decision to love someone, we open ourselves to great suffering, because those we most love cause us not only great joy but also great pain. The greatest pain comes from leaving. When the child leaves home, when the husband or wife leaves for a long period of time or for good, when the beloved friend departs to another country or dies … the pain of the leaving can tear us apart. Still, if we want to avoid the suffering of leaving, we will never experience the joy of loving. And love is stronger than fear, life stronger than death, hope stronger than despair. We have to trust that the risk of loving is always worth taking.”
― Henri J.M. Nouwen