Saying Goodbye

3 12 2007

Neal left for our new home this evening.  The first night without him is always the worst.  He sat and hugged each of the children, trying to squeeze two weeks’ worth of love out in five minutes.  I’ll be taking Patrick and a load of furniture up next weekend, but the older kids will be staying with friends and won’t see him again until he comes down for the Christmas production.
I lost my husband and my church in one day.  We said goodbye to Pastor Ron & Norma after service today.  I kept looking around the room during service.  There was Gretchen.   I taught her son piano lessons for six months.  And Angelina, who gave us a bag of boy’s clothes out of the blue and in the nick of time.  Melanie, whose friendship I have treasured dearly, and another Melanie, whose love for my kids knows no bounds.  How will I replace them?  Eric and Edith were there up front, Lori and Mike, Carrie Robinson who walked me through my first bible study, Nancy and Kaye who prayed with me at women’s prayer every week for nearly five years!  Tex and Ruthie, whom we have adopted as our parents in Christ and who have done so much for us… Tex helping Neal get off sugar, and Ruthie guiding me through my changing relationships with my children.
The more I looked the faster the names and memories flew through my mind… even people who are gone now.  Derek Capps, who was the patient recipient of my first word of knowledge.  Debbie Davis who taught me so much about prayer.  Pastor Abbye’s writer’s guild that changed my life.  Michael Porter and his sweet gentle wisdom.  Alison, who now wears two new rings on her fingers.  Fran, Beverly the “kissy” lady, Katherine, Sarah and her encouraging words, Kelly in the nursery, Tim and Ruth and their darling girls.
And that doesn’t even include the wonderful people I’ve known in the homeschooling group!
I could give up everything easily.  I can give up Hugh MacRae park and the forsythia reflected upside down in the pond.  I can give up the beach in all its moods, swimming at the YWCA, A.C. Moore, walking around Greenfield Lake and the summer Shakespeare with a background of loud frogs, the snakes, the sand, going to the aquarium and watching the sharks glide by, picnics under live oaks, all my favorite old books at the library… all these things I can give up.  But how do I give up the people?

I’ve done this all before.  At first you swear you’ll keep in touch.  You promise to write.  You talk about how easy it is to visit.  But after a few months, you become busy.  Calls dwindle.  New friends take up more of your time.  There are new demands.  And you forget and you forget and you forget….  After five years, you send Christmas cards.  After seven years you barely remember the names.

I guess the only thing is to say that I loved you guys while I had you.  I loved this church.  It changed my life.  I have poured my heart and my life into it while we were here, and I regret nothing.  I have loved the people, given and recieved friendship, prayed and been prayed for.  You have taught me about what love really is.  You have planted rich and beautiful things in the sterile place that was my heart before.
And even though memory may fade, what I am and will become will always be partly what you made me.

And who knows, we may suprise ourselves and keep in touch!




3 responses

4 12 2007
Sarah Smith

Keep on blogging and we will be in touch. You will be missed. Thank you for being you. I look forward to reading your novel.

I really enjoyed your article in the paper this month.sds

5 12 2007

I am not saying good bye.

5 12 2007

I’m with Coni – and besides, you’ll be too close for there not to be frequent visits…and you KNOW we will all be checking the blog every day looking for word from our Angela.

When we moved from Florida years ago – I had tons of friends that I kept up with for a while but now I have three left – and they are the best three friends I could ever have. Keeping in touch is hard work and it only lasts with the ones that are supposed to remain. I really hope that we remain in your life in some way. Love you Angela…

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