Saturday, September 28, 2019

Goodbyes Are Hard

Saying goodbye ... for someone who travels as much as we do, it is a common experience. But that doesn't mean that it's always easy.

Our camp host position at Baker Park kept us in the Minneapolis area later this summer than in previous years. As the leaves started showing off their autumn colors, we wondered if winter could be far off. Perhaps we should have started our southern migration already?

But once again, God let us know that we were right where we were expected to be when I got a call from my sister in early September. Her husband had been bravely fighting cancer for the past six months. We felt grateful to spend time with them here in Minneapolis the last few weeks as he was going through chemotherapy. But this time the call was not the normal, "how's it going?" Through her tears, she let me know that the cancer was progressing. Over the next two weeks, I would come to appreciate the "flexibility" of our new van life as I was able to be there with my sister and family.

As Dale transitioned to hospice care, our flexible lifestyle allowed me to "move in" with my sister as Doug finished off our camp host commitment. Frequent visits from my new grand-puppy Peter the Pug, lifted the spirits of everyone he greeted.

It was my honor to be able to work with my sister as she lovingly cared for her husband. She became an expert at Pleurx draining, leg wraps, and back rubs. I was humbled to be there to support her when she was faced with the hardest goodbye of all as her husband passed from this life into Eternal Glory.

"Love ...
bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never ends."
1 Corinthians 13:7-8

I am grateful for the "Amazing Grace" that allowed us to be here for family.

As we left Minneapolis last week, our "goodbyes" seemed harder but also more powerful than in the past. Our experiences during the last few weeks taught us to cherish the time spent with family and friends. It also helped us appreciate the love that accompanies each hard goodbye.

Goodbyes are not forever,
Goodbyes are not the end.
They simply mean I'll miss you,
Until we meet again.