It's a blah Tuesday and I'm eating a PB&J whilst doing the laundry and deciding that the time has come to blog. The Samster is at his school for little people doing little people things, which I'm imagining includes snack time, nap time, play time and occasional episodes of mini-WWF with other little people. I'm sure it's a real good time over there.
Meanwhile, we just got back from a trip to my parents' in the Deep South where we met up with my dear friend Abigail and her sweet little fam, which now includes a teensy babe that Matt and I secretly wanted to steal (We kept this minor leaning toward baby abduction to ourselves, but I think they could tell).
Mostly, we spent the weekend wrangling people under three, but somehow we also managed to squeeze in actual conversations here and there, which was nice. Conversations are sort of like an extinct species of dinosaur in the land of parenthood (pardon the mixed metaphor). If you have small people in your charge, you understand this. Luckily, we had the Grandparents Extraordinaire to swoop in throughout the weekend and free us up for occasional chatting. And, we also had selfless husbands who kindly read books about Winnie the Pooh and watched Sesame Street with the young'uns so that Abigail and I could discuss whatever our little hearts desired (Downton Abbey, tea, trips to England, books, cardigans, etcetera, etcetera.)
But, while all this fun was happening, there was an undeniable, underlying current of sad, which I successfully kept at bay for most of the weekend. The very, very short summary for this bit of sad is that Abigail and her little family are moving to the other side of the world later this year and this weekend was essentially a bittersweet two-day goodbye.
And, so, I'm sad about this. I'm trying to see the positives here, people, but Skype and Facebook don't always cut it. Despite my slight preoccupation with social media, it doesn't even come close to being a worthy substitute to a real, live, face to face chat over tea with a friend like Abigail.
I held out until the end, but my mascara was destined to run there at the last as we hugged them out of the driveway.
For the record, I'm for missions. And I'm for people hearing about Jesus. Especially the ones who haven't ever heard about Him before. But, man, it's hard to watch a friend go knowing that three years will pass before we get to see each other again. OK, I realize that sounded really, really, REALLY selfish of me. This is shaping up to be one of those posts that might include over-sharing/confessions that I might regret later.
Abigail's husband is smart. He's also a smidge crazy. But, one thing he said as Abigail and I were tearfully goodbye-ing was this: "Christ is worth it." Even now, my eyes smart as I think about that. I know that this is true. I know it is. But, I needed to be reminded.
It's a hard thing, saying goodbye. I don't like it at all. But, in the midst of it, I can't help but be made that much more aware of how dear my friend is to me. And at the same time, I'm reminded that perhaps Jesus isn't as dear to me as He should be. This also makes me sad.
Goodbyes are clarifying, I think. They help us say what we always meant to say but never got around to. And they help us see people in the light that we should have been seeing them in all along. And maybe goodbyes can help us remember that this life is not all there is and that one day we get to stop saying these stinking goodbyes.
Here's to friendship and to people hearing about Jesus.
And here's to having the chance to send fun care packages to places where they've never seen episodes of Gilmore Girls or been obsessed with Target.
Note: No, despite what you may be wondering after viewing this picture, I am not going through a goth/librarian phase. I was just having a bad hair day and ran out of clean clothes that weren't black. And, yes, we are standing very, very close to one another.