The past month or so has been a strange mix of emotions. Sadness to leave. Excitement to go. All blended up in one heart. I felt like that song, "Wanna throw my tender heart in a blender, watch it spin around to a beautiful oblivion..." Oh, and I should also add exhaustion to the pot, which isn't really an emotion, but it definitely adds some intensity to the others. I was expecting to be an emotional wreck during my last week in the States. Instead, God blessed me with lots of laughter, a strong heart, and plenty of Mexican food. Don't get me wrong, there were still waves of sadness, and I cried many-a-river, but God's faithfulness and unending joy eased the way.
I hate saying goodbye. I avoid it whenever possible. If I could've had things my way, I would've snuck out in the middle of the night, then called everyone from Dublin to say "hello". Goodbyes are filled with finality and sadness and that horrible don't-leave-yet-I-just-want-one-more-hug ambiguity that drags on and on and on. Some of my goodbyes were easier than others. I said goodbye to Jes on Wednesday. My Daddy kissed me goodbye early Friday morning. Mooly and Dakota were a little tougher. They weren't quick. They lasted several hours. And the thought of them still makes my cry. I hate goodbyes.
Or should it be helloes? Either way, these are so much better! Hellos are filled with anticipation and smiles and I'm-so-happy-I-could-squeeze-you-to-death hugs. I love hellos. I had several hours to wait between my goodbyes and my hellos. The extra time I had to spend in immigration at the airport (due to a misunderstanding on my part) didn't help things. By the time we got things sorted out, my 5 bags were the only ones left at baggage claim. Not to mention there was no one around to help me manage them. It was a pitiful sight. After several minutes of a ridiculous battle with 2 luggage carts (a battle I was losing), a nice stranger came through and offered help. Fifteen seconds later I was greeted with my first hellos. My whole team (sans Scott) was standing together, holding welcome signs, smiling, waving. Denise was taking pictures. You can see them on her blog. Then came the relief of being loved. The exhaustion and frustration melted with each hug. I love hellos.
The goodbyes are still heavy on my heart. I know the full effect of them hasn't even sunk in yet. But the hellos are still being made. And I have a feeling they won't be going away any time soon. My life is a Beatle song, "Hello, goodbye. hello, goodbye..."
Note: It's 11pm now. It's not even completely dark yet. Also, it was about 55 degrees today. Unbelievable!