The Christmas presents may have been unwrapped last Wednesday, but the true gift for me is spending time with friends. We were lucky enough to visit with two out of town guests in the past week. And while my heart is so full to have seen them, my throat keeps a constant lump suppressing tears from missing them.
Missy spent the day with us on Thursday. The college girl who came to babysit that California day in February of ’05 quickly became part of our family. Sometimes I forget we’re not related by blood. The girls have known her longer than they haven’t. Though we met her in the sunshine, she comes from the rainy Northwest. I’ve secretly hoped she’d move back to her roots, but instead she found another sunny spot. Austin, TX, to be exact. Now I know if I look on the optimist’s side of things, this means we have a warm, bright, warm, light, warm place to visit. But I miss her. Spending a day with her was blessed. Saying goodbye to her, heartbreaking.
Saturday night we had another special visitor. If you’ve been a blog reader for a while, you may remember a dear friend passed away last year. During our Orange County years, Teresa was one of my closest friends. Our daughters were as BFF as BFFs could be at 6 years old.
It’s been difficult for me to come to terms with T’s death. See, our family moved from the OC 7 years ago. Teresa and I still kept in touch, but we didn’t see each other on a day to day basis. In my psyche, she’s still in Irvine, busy as ever with her 3 daughters.
But she’s not still in Irvine. 2 of her 3 daughters are grown now. Our 14 year olds are a far cry from the little ones who used to play tea party and Pokemon.
I know it sounds crazy, but when I saw Teresa’s family this weekend, I felt her. Saying goodbye to them meant I had to say goodbye to her. For real this time.
I’ve decided I’m not a good griever. Let’s keep this in mind for future reference, shall we?
Now we bid adieu to another year. The feelings I’ve had these past few days kind of sum up the feelings I’ve had in 2013 – happy and sad simultaneously. Excited and depressed. Aggressive and fearful. Up and down. A paradox of emotions at the same time. Can I expect differently for 2014?
Perhaps this range of heart play is a vital part of the wonderful gift God has given us – life. And for that, Lord, I give thanks. I pray in this new year I will use this life for Your will, Your purpose. Teach me more the meaning of living with the nature of a servant.