Despite my pale white skin and love of sunflowers, I’m a born and raised Florida gal 🙂 Our ‘last’ trip to Florida came rolling around the corner. It took us for a quick day down in South Florida, then across to the Gulf side for the rest of our time.
Good-byes never get easier; however, they do eventually become a new normal in an m’s life. I’m grateful to have gone into this trip anticipating good-byes, thanks to Pre-field Training a week prior. In doing so, in anticipating good-byes, I was able to grieve as thoroughly as possible the people, places and things I know in Florida; and to allow others to grieve in their own way and time.
My husband took photos of me in some of the fondest places around my parents’ house and grandmother’s house. I acknowledged not only the grief of the immediate loss but even what hadn’t been nor will be for now, trusting G with where relationships were being left. I spent intentional moments saying “good-bye”, not “see-ya”. I said good-bye to the cat and the backyard canal, to the ocean and familiar roads. To my next-door neighbors, my grandma, my good friend and her husband-newlywed, to new friends of only two days, and finally my parents.
We will see my parents once more in the Midwest, yes. And yes, there’s Skype and all technology has to offer. But even when I don’t understand, even when others don’t understand, we’re to say “good-bye”. Because L willing we will return to these places and these people again, but it won’t be the same. It will be a while. We’ll be different, they’ll be different, if and when we see each other again. And that’s okay- it’s just one of many reasons we say “good-bye”.
How lucky I am to have something that makes saying good-bye so hard.
― A.A. Milne
Many tears and much joy were had on this trip. It was a lovely visit and G’s grace was evident. To those of you who were praying, we are deeply grateful. I’d like to leave you with a few lyrics, which played in my mind after every good-bye:
” What if my greatest disappointments
Or the aching of this life
Is the revealing of a greater thirst this world can’t satisfy
What if trials of this life
The rain, the storms, the hardest nights
Are Your mercies in disguise.”
Laura Story, “Blessings” – Listen to full song with lyrics
In His Mercy, Sarah Lynn