Air Force bases are full of turnover - it's the way of life. That doesn't make it easier, just familiar. When I left in August - I expected the goodbyes or see ya laters for this group was done! Surprise.
"X" and I often joked last year she would be the "last to leave." God has a sense of humor. She said goodbye to me in August. I said goodbye to her tonight. I doubt she'll be back to say goodbye to me again when we leave Beale in Feb....or March...
We went over in the afternoon so the boys would have one last "youth play date," and all could say a farewell. "X" was the Protestant Parish coordinator and worked closely with Michael during our time at Beale, she was also a special teacher for Stacia and close friend to me..... Mr. X was away for over 2/3's of our time together - but we've sure had fun with him once he got home. We are blessed we were able to be back at Beale at the right time to say a "real goodbye" to this family.
So.....in the evening we headed across town to say a "real goodbye" to X with an Italian dinner at Jennifer's.
|Part of the Gang...Jen and X in front, Hope, Mindee, Me, Maria and Rachel|
It was a fun night to relax, laugh and share with old friends and to honor X and the role she played in each of our lives. I have been wanting to connect with Maria and it was wonderful to have that opportunity last night, as well.
|Two treasured Chapel Gals|
I taught X to hug, she taught me to smile, and no one taught the camera to focus.
Seriously, emotions are high. Friendships are valuable and treasured. This is the friend who simply came over and sat with me those first days when the possibility of Parkinson's was raised and we still weren't sharing what Michael's tests were for....she just came and sat and stared at the trailer and dreamed with me....and never pressured for info Michael didn't want shared. This is the woman with whom I spent hours cleaning and organizing chapels. This was my partner in Daniel teaching.....and retreat planning.....and Wednesday lunches. This is my fearless co-partner in snake chasing. ::snort:: This is a woman who knows how to be a friend.
Beale is a lonelier place this morning.
My heart however is much bigger for having had X in it for two years.
*Yes, *I* know her name - but you don't need to know it. And, X, I know you'll eventually read this - just grab a tissue and smile. God did a good thing when He crossed our paths. Thanks again, for.everything.