How lucky I am indeed!
I've had my share of goodbye's lately ~ a lot of them happened last weekend. We traveled to Central Arkansas to be present for the marriage of our Godson F John Rickert to the beautiful Hannah Moore. It was a beautiful wedding and a truly spectacular day on the top of Mt. Nebo in Northwest Arkansas. Listening to Hannah & F John speak their vows to one another took me back to my own wedding day and to the day F John's parents wed. I was so happy to see all these people who I haven't seen in way too many years ~ until we got there I didn't even realize I've been missing them like crazy!
Megan flew from North Carolina to be with all of us. It was so good to see her (don't tell her but I've been missing her like crazy too!).
The goodbye's started Saturday night when we said good night to the happy couple. Suddenly the baby I held in my arms, the toddler who crawled all over me, the little boy who taught my own children so many clever ways to get into trouble, was now a man with a wife of his own (but still teaching my children clever ways to get into trouble). And now it was time to say goodbye and send them off. "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
On Sunday we drove Megan to the airport to send her back to North Carolina. Have I told her that I'm proud of her?? Somehow it wasn't so hard to send her away when she was 18 and heading off to college ~ maybe because I like her a lot more now! "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
Sunday night we re-created a dinner party from when our children were small. I looked around the table and realized how lucky I am. I have wonderful friends with whom I share an amazing history. We have awesome children who have become awesome adults and friends. That night we said some more goodbye's. "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
Monday, after a good country breakfast, we loaded up the car and got ready to head for home. We said our final goodbye's on the doorstep and vowed not to wait so long to see one another again. "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
Today the community of St. Norbert remembers how lucky we are. We truly had something that made saying goodbye very hard. Today marks one year since Fr. Valker went home to be with God ~ the God who loves him so very much and who he loved and served in this life. In last week's bulletin Fr. Bob wrote a wonderful "Heinz Site" about Fr. Valker (if you haven't read it, here's the link http://stnorbertparish.org/pages/documents/norb102112.pdf). Fr. Bob had some pretty powerful things to say but two of those things stuck with me all week. First was that he loved Fr. Valker but wished he would have told him. Second he asked what Fr. Valker would say to us about being the kind of people we should be . . . the kind of people we want to be . . . the kind of people God wants us to be. This really got me thinking about conversations I've had with Fr. Valker over the years. Whenever I would "confess" to Fr. Valker that I felt I lacked patience ~ patience with my family, with my co-workers or with the kids I taught in RE ~ he would tell me to "just love them". Now I don't know about you, but that makes two guys that I have a lot of respect for talking about love. Telling me that love is what's important and reminding me to tell the people I love just that ~ "I love you". So maybe for this week I will make it my "Compassion It" act to tell those people that I love them ~ as a tribute to my friend Dick Valker.
"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."