Goodbyes.

The last two days together for
Christmas break
were super great.
And really hard.



Sunday, Dad preached his last sermon for awhile.
We were able to squeeze in a visit to the
naturopath doctor last Wednesday,
and he suggested that Dad needed to stop
all speaking engagements for the foreseeable future,
to rest his body.
Good advice.
Hard to do, when preaching and teaching God's word
is your very heart's passion and calling.
Dad handled that well.
By the time we got in the car he was absolutely spent,
which was confirmation
that he does,
indeed,
need to step down from the pulpit for awhile.
In other news,
I do believe,
that if you were raised in a Christian home,
you had roast beef for Sunday lunch.
All across Canada.
And the United States.
And perhaps around the rest of the globe, too.
It's just a given.

So of course
we had roast beef
and all the fixin's
for Sunday lunch.

Dreamy.

*Cue the decades-old family story*

Once upon a time,
when I was in my teens,
I had been begging,
-- and by begging, I do mean begging --
for Mom to let me use the electric knife.

It was a simple request.
You'd think she would have acquiesced.

I mean,
I had proven my responsible nature.
I was driving a car by this point.
I said no to drugs, alcohol, and premarital sex.

And yet,
somehow,
she just wouldn't let me use the electric knife.
Something about,
'You might lose a finger.'

Whatever.

I suppose I got over it,
until one year,
when I was home on vacation from college,
I heard the electric knife humming in the kitchen.

To my shock, horror and DISMAY,
little brother Lenny
WAS USING THE ELECTRIC KNIFE.
(mind you, he's FIVE years younger).

Are you kidding me?

She says,
"He just caught me in a moment of weakness."

I say I caught her in the act of blatant favoritism.

I guess we lived to tell about it.
My counselor says I've worked through it.
Mostly.

Needless to say,
I haven't let them live it down.

Here he is,
25+ years later,
gloating about being the favored child.
It was only right that I fully document it,
so that when our kids ask what the deal is with the electric knife,
they'll know the whole story.
Because I certainly don't trust either of them with the truth.
He acts like he's the king of the kitchen and such.
Meanwhile,
I was raising all the children.
And by raising,
I mean,
letting them spend time on their DS machines.
I'm a good mom and Auntie Lee Lee.
In an effort to keep any remaining brain cells,
we shooed the kids outside one last time.
Apparently they fell for it
when I said that building a huge massive fort
in the snow was really REALLY fun.




Maddie loves her cousins.


Oh, he is so darn cute.


And then,
just like that,
Lenny and his family had to leave.
Quite frankly, it snuck up on us.

Before they left,
Lenny led us in prayer together as we sat around the living room.
That was super special;
a really tender time.

We know God is good.
And kind.
And He loves us.
And He gives us peace.

I so want my kids,
and Lenny's kids,
to know that.
Like, REALLY know that.
I want them,
in their own ways,
however this goes down,
to run TO God,
instead of away from God.

That's my heart's cry.

If I'm being honest,
that scares me just a little
because it's out of my control.
That somehow,
this might cause one of our kids to
think this is God's fault,
or hate God
or decide to turn their back on Him.

But I have to trust God that He'll meet them
in their hard, in their pain.
He knows them better than I do.

So I trust that He is good.
And Trustworthy.
And Kind.

And this cancer diagnosis doesn't take away any of that.
It doesn't.

And yet.

Yet...

It's still really hard.

Whew.
Deep breath.

I do believe I had the 'ugly cry' goin' on.
That's attractive.

And then,
before you know it,
all we saw were the tail lights as they drove out of town.
Andrew stuck his hand out the car window for one last wave.
I found myself just wishing they could stay one more day.

We just stood there.

Over.
Just like that.


Tears make it hard to see.
So hard.

I generally don't do well with goodbyes.
Ever.
Even on a good day.
So the thought of saying goodbye
with so many unknowns lurking,
was just plain hard.

Long hugs.
Weeping.

We sat in silence for awhile after they left.
I think just trying to process what that goodbye meant.
And what our next hello might mean.
Whenever that might be.

And so,
since Monday,
I've been going in and out of
dreading my own goodbye with Mum and Dad.
Which will happen either Friday or Saturday,
depending on the weather.

I'm trying to live in the present.
And yet,
I find myself holding back tears
at the thought of pulling out of their driveway
later this week.

I hate that we live so far away.

So if you're the praying sort,
I'd appreciate prayers for that moment.

That goodbye.
That ending to a truly beautiful 2 1/2 weeks
with my mum and dad.

It really has been a gift from God.
And I really don't want it to end.

But alas,
it must.

So we pray.
And we go.
And we pray some more.
And we ask for God's peace in the middle of the hard.
And He guarantees He'll give us His peace if we ask.

His abundant peace.


"And the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding,
will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
Philippians 4:7

Comments

Unknown said…
Beautifully written Alysa.....prayers and hugs!
Alysa said…
Thanks so much!

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