The interesting concept surrounding goodbyes is I'm not sure we now are aware of how to "do them better". They are still difficult. We still struggle emotionally. There is a line in a song by Owl City:
I'm weird because I hate goodbyes
I really dislike this line. I believe we all hate goodbyes. They are difficult. They bring grief, they require us to find a new normal.
Nathanael and I interpreting. Me Spanish to English, Nathanael English to ASL
About a month ago, Alma's father passed. He had been sick for a while. She doesn't have a good way to communicate with us. Nathanael pulled on to her road and noticed it was blocked off for a wake. Some inquiries lead to the conclusion that yes her father had passed. Nathanael finished picking up people for church. At church, it was decided that we would attend the funeral. We cleaned up and crowded into the van.
The Deaf who came to support Alma
We found a place for the Deaf to sit. Nathanael and I also obtained two chairs so that we could interpret. Alma was able to have the service and burial interpreted.
A not so significant but still difficult goodbye happened for us last week. We have 4 dogs. One of our dogs' Cookies, passed. She was Selah's dog. The most "rebellious" (she found multiple ways to get out of the gate). She was ever faithful to come back. We found more and more stuffed animals that she must've picked out of other's trash in our yard. Selah buried Cookies with the stuffed animal that appeared to be her favorite. We had to go out in the bush and find a place to put her. Selah decorated a stone block to put her memory on.
Selah makes Cookies gravestone
There are also the unexpected goodbyes that happen often. A short term team comes down, we make a connection and say goodbye. One that is not so difficult is Hipolito. He works across the border in Bacalar, Mexico. He takes care of a training center there. Pastors from Mexico and Central America train to work with kids in their communities. He also travels and encourages pastors in their congratulations. We had the privilege of staying at the training center a few days in November. Zephaniah made a connection with Hipolito, following him around talking to him and playing with him. Fortunately, Hipolito often comes for events that Koinonia has. Zephaniah says that Hipolito is his best Mexican Friend.
Zephaniah and Hipolito
Yes, I do hate goodbyes. At the same time, I wouldn't change the connections, love, and relationships we have gained.
Hipolito buys sweetbread from a man on a triciclo it reminded me of when I did that in Mexico 20 years ago
Please be praying for Alma's family. Also, Abigail and I head to Stann Creek district today to work with Kids Konnect. If you would like to pray with us, here is a sign up:
Thanks so much,
PS: I am trying to regularly send out prayer emails via email (every two weeks) if you would like to receive them and aren't, you can sign up to get them.