28 May 2012

Saying goodbye...

So I touched on it briefly in my last post - the difficulty of saying goodbye.

(I write this post in the interest of transparency I've promised to this blog and my experiences with the YAV program - but I'm going to save it until I get back to Kentucky. Mostly because I don't know that I can hold it together if my mom reads this before I go. Mom, you've been warned.)

On each trip to Orlando, I typically try to find time to visit some places that hold special significance: a walk through part of the neighborhood I've lived in since preschool, a trip to the park or my old home church. During this particular trip, however, these experiences were especially poignant - as many felt like a final farewell.

So much has changed in my hometown in the 10+ years since I've moved to Kentucky, and the strong memories I hold with these places are beginning to fade (the true testament to this being that I actually got lost driving home by a once-familiar route).

This time, I walked past the house my grandparents lived in for 40+ years and remembered all the little details of growing up there. I looked at the front door, and muscle memory told me exactly what it would feel like to open the latch. Even though my grandparents moved out years ago, seeing a For Sale sign in the yard made me feel like I'd never see the house again.

On Sunday, I visited the church I attended from birth through college... and recognized a total of about 5 people in the 3,950 member congregation. The sermon highlighting their recent switch from PC(USA) to EPC made me feel like even more of an outsider. I quietly said my goodbyes after the service, and honestly don't know that I'll ever go back.
Saying goodbye to places is tough, but I've begun to realize how monumentally difficult it will be to say goodbye to my family. Typically stoic, I completely lost it this evening when I dropped my grandma at her apartment after dinner and it hit me that I won't be back home for almost a year and a half.

I know there will be more goodbyes in the months to come. I've even taught my mom to Skype. Part of me hopes that my other goodbyes will go smoothly and tear-free (which is much more my style, actually) - but the other part of me feels blessed to have these relationships that make it so difficult to leave.

"How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard."
-Carol Sobieski, Annie

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