I am really bad at goodbyes. I'd rather just not say goodbye and leave while the "leavers" don't notice. I don't mean to be rude, although this certainly can be viewed as quite rude. I just hate goodbyes. I'm still trying to figure out why. Last week presented an opportunity at getting better at goodbyes. My neighbors from across the street were relocating to their retirement home in Arizona after having sold their home.
Only a few short weeks ago (almost unbelievable in this real estate market - and yet, their home is fabulous and showed extremely well), I first noticed the "For Sale" sign appear in the front yard. Tim hadn't told me he had a conversation with Tom weeks prior in which Tom had mentioned that they were going to be selling their home.
I saw the sign. I started crying.
Needless to say, I chatted with them throughout the weeks that escrow liteally ripped by. I kept going over the friendly conversations with Kathy, who had lived in the neighborhood for over 50 years. I recounted all the talks we had on the front lawn about various things. She was so direct, yet kind and thoughtful. She was a godly woman who was devoted to her husband. I saw her as a kind of mother, although I have never tried to replace my mom. How could I? She was one of a kind! And I mean that in the most positive way.
I was helped in the gradual process of saying goodbye to Tom and Kathy by meeting the new neighbors. And when the neighborhood goodbye party beckoned, I went and scoialized with all my neighbors. But I didn't say goodbye to Tom and Kathy - yet. I knew they were leaving early the next morning. Sure enough, I noticed the huge moving van out in front of their house by at least 7 am. I kept making excuses as to why I couldn't go over just then to say goodbye. Eventually, as they were about to leave, I was able to get some pictures and say goodbye. It wasn't so bad. It was satisfying to say goodbye in the right and proper way.
There have been other goodbyes this springtime, too. I had my last MOPS meeting a few weeks ago. Those women at my table were very sweet and fun to get to know. With school plans for this fall, I don't have any extra time for MOPS next fall. Besides, I'm really eager to volunteer at a nearby hospital starting in the summer. So, this was my last MOPS meeting. I was a little sad, but not terribly so.
One last goodbye awaited me several weeks ago. I droppped Elena off to babysit near my friend Doris's home. She was leaving the next day for the suburbs of Las Vegas with her three children. Her divorce is very close to being final and she had finally found a job and a place to live. I swung my car around the corner and was pleased to see her children playing outside. I parked and asked her kids if their Mom was home. I then got Julia out and went to where her car was parked and surpised her. We talked for about 10 minutes and then I hugged her goodbye and wished her well. "I'll be praying for you," I mentioned as I departed. And I will.
I had met Doris when our children started preschool together in the fall of 2007. When I first met her I was struck with how vivacious and beautiful she was. She was so friendly and upbeat. I would later learn of many trials she had with her husband and children in regard to extensive medical issues. (She could practically be doctor at this point!) We became better friends through my last pregnancy and then through her last pregnancy. We talked about all sorts of stuff and she always remained warm, kind and fun to be with. I am going to miss her a lot.
And then my favorite librarian left my favorite library. Boo-hoo. It's just so sad.
Although I relish the balmy weather and bursting blooms of springtime, there are usually too many goodbyes during this time of year. I wish I didn't get so attached to people so that saying goodbye would be easier. But I do. And it really is better to have those treasured friendships, even from afar. I felt God reminding me, ever so tenderly, "They may leave you, but I will never leave or forsake you." I was comforted. Thank you, Lord, for being that ever-ready fountain of comfort and security. Please be with and bless my friends.
And "Goodbye Springtime!" Summer is upon us! Maybe I'll make some new friends and strengthen the ones I have.