Saying goodbye

I still remember leaving Brazil.  I’d been there for a scant month, but I sobbed as I boarded my flight for Sao Paulo where I would connect to Dallas.  I treasured my last look through the window at my friends waving on the other side–would it be the last time I would see them?  If I did ever go back, I knew it wouldn’t be the same–not the same time with the same people.  It was gone.

I hugged my sister.  I teared up, knowing this was the last time–in a matter of moments, we would no longer share the same name, the same room.  This was the end of one chapter and the beginning of a new one.  I wasn’t saying goodbye to a person, because I still have her.  It was all the years and memories that I had to finally realize belonged to past.  They were over.  They were gone.

I feel the same way every time I say goodbye to my church family in West Virginia before a break, and every time I hug my siblings before I head back to school.  I feel this inner conflict, knowing that to say goodbye to one is to go back to the other.  I wish it weren’t this way–I wish that time and space didn’t operate the way they do, that goodbyes didn’t have to happen.

Until then, every goodbye is a reminder to me of a day when i’ll never say goodbye, and a knowledge that there’s one person I never have to say goodbye to.  His name is Jesus, and he’s all that gets me through saying goodbye.



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