There’s an old Country Song that I am quite fond of. The lyrics are,
“I watch my best friend Janey slippin further away.
I keep waving, til I couldn’t see her, and through my tears I ask again why we counldn’t stay.
Mama wispered softly, time will ease your pain,
Life’s about changing, nothing ever stays the same.
And she said, how can I help you to say good-bye? It’s okay to hurt, and it’s okay to cry.
Come let me hold you and I will try. How can I help you to say good-bye?”
These last few days, this song has danced through my head frequently. And I am sure as the next few weeks slip by, the song will come more often. Right now, it seems, that saying good-bye to those I love is about to become perpetual.
Tomorrow, one of my dearest friends is to make the great walk down the aisle. After dating a wonderful guy for a few years, she is going to make her vows. Quite a beautiful sacrament, her friends are delighted for her. And she’s been engaged for about a year and half. But, quite honestly, the truth of the matter didn’t hit me until the other night. About seven of us girls were out celebrating during her bachelorette party. We had dinner and then went to D.C. for a play. What a lovely night! And in the middle of all the excitement, it hit me. I have to say good-bye on Saturday.
While it’s nothing permanent, one thing’s for sure, I won’t be seeing Christy nearly as often as I have been. Instead, she’ll be down in Norfolk taking care of her husband and starting a family. Life with and for Christy is about to change drastically.
And I have to go through the tears again in a few weeks.
Never have I ever been able to say that I have real friends. Until the last year. I have been blessed to make some incredible friendships since last January. Confidences have been told, memories made, tears cried, and laughs exchanged. It’s been incredible having people who care about and love you so much. Friendship is a gift. And while, I have had a year and a half with these special people, I have been dreading this May the whole way.
And now it’s just around the corner. I never realized how much I was dreading it until the last few days. I am terrible with good-byes. I don’t like them. Leaving for long breaks have never been fun for me, becuase I have to say good-bye to those I care about around me, and then when break is over the fun happens again when I am forced to part with my family. But, May is going to be much different. Not just because it’s a three month vacation. That would be enough. No, this time, a few of my dearest friends are graduating.
Oh, but how proud I am to see them go and fulfill the vocations to which God has called them. From FOCUS missionary and getting a Master’s in Evangelization to teaching young children, my friends are going on to do some incredible things. In that sense, I am so excited for them. They will leave here and leave such a mark on the world- share God and love with so many people.
But, as they are off, bringing the lost sheep to Christ, I hope that every now and then, they’ll stop and remember that somewhere in Virginia, there’s someone praying very hard for them all.
And I know that I will see most of them again. This is the one thought that consoles me. But, it won’t be like now. Now, where all I have to do is go across the hall to see Niki and Michele or run up the three flights of stairs in Campion to see Kelly and Ted. I won’t see them everyday, nor once a week. It’ll be a long time between visits and possibly phone calls. There won’t be dinner meals or the “Breakfast Crowd”. There won’t be anymore Monday night Bowling or Friday night Frisbee. Skyline and George Washington Park are going to be strangely empty.
So, right now, as time flies quickly, I am milking every moment I can with my Senior gals. Most of them have been awesome about remembering to schedule a little time for me, even among those ten-page papers. I see most of them a lot. I don’t know if it’s because they know it’s important to me, or if maybe they are beginning to feel the coming of the end, as well. But, it’s coming.
And when May comes and I am cheering my gals across the Graduation stage, dancing with them at the Dance, and eating the last few meals together, I hope they don’t mind a few tears. I hope when Ted drops me off at the airport, she’ll understand the crying and maybe do a little herself.
And then I’ll go home, leaving my gals behind for awhile. And Mom will whisper softly, “Time will ease your pain. Life’s about changing, nothing ever stays the same. And she’ll say, “How can I help you to say good-bye? It’s okay to hurt, and it’s okay to cry. Come, let me hold you, and I will try. How can I help you, say good-bye?”