I woke up this morning and the first thought in my head was “If only I could blink and skip today and have it be tomorrow.” It was a fleeting thought but an honest one nonetheless. We are always learning something, whether we want to learn it or not. I’m gaining a little more understanding of what life looks like when I say yes. Not yes to everything but yes to God. Yes to His ways. Yes to His leadership of my life. Yes to His plan instead of mine.
See if I had been able to blink and skip today or any of the past few weeks of growing sadness knowing a very good friend would move far away, I would have missed so much. I would have missed several fun playdates with our kids, a chance to stay up late and pack boxes, getting to spend hours obsessing over a photo book that had to be just right, a final trip to Costco and the delight of throwing a goodbye party in their honor. I might have missed out on a few good crying sessions too. When I knew for sure they were leaving, I felt my heart split. Part wanted to ‘check out’ and distance myself and ease the pain of goodbye. The other part wanted to dive in and make the most of the weeks left and make sure I didn’t miss any chances to end well.
I’m sure I missed some chances but I did my best to treasure the time together. But when today rolled around, knowing after the big party we’d say our goodbye, I took a deep breath and trudged through tears and a sad heart. I was grouchy to my daughter all morning, so much so that even though we were late to ballet I pulled over (I cried all the way to ballet) and brought her up to the front seat and hugged her for a long time. We both needed it so much-it really didn’t matter when we got to ballet.
This all goes back to saying yes. It means saying yes to pain. When I choose to let God expand my heart, it means my hurt will expand too. That’s just the way it is. Saying yes for me means opening my heart up to life. It meant saying yes to another baby who would be Audrey Rose and would delight my heart every single day for 264 days straight. It has also meant saying yes to schooling our kids at home when sending them out the door each day would be much easier. It means choosing life giving words instead of those that tear down when I talk with my husband at the end of a long day (still working on this one!).
All this to say, I am glad to have experienced the day in all it’s fullness. To have watched my friend for 5 hours while people loved her, hugged her, shared with her and said goodbyes. To have cried more than once and laughed nearly a dozen times at all the children running around the house. There is something wonderful about feeling life deeply-both the joy and the pain. I don’t think it’s possible to have one without the other. And I am thankful for each one.
Struggling to say goodbye means we have loved enough for it to actually hurt when someone leaves. If it was never hard to do then it would mean we hadn’t given fully of ourselves to begin with. I want to give fully. I want to care enough for other people that it’s sad when they go.
I will miss you Kristin. I will miss knowing that someone (besides my own family) would drop anything to help me in any way at any time if I needed it. You and Tom have given so generously of yourself to me, to my children, to our family. We love each of you.