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To those I love now gone away

These past several days…or week, even…has been one of much upset.

Not in a particularly disastrous or unexpected sense, but all the same…it was not a week of profound bliss. Except for the fact that there’s now a Small Inouye to contend with. That, of course, makes me incredibly happy.

mandag I spoke to my dear friend Amanda, and between marveling at her smooth, polished, marbley new British accent, I heard the unmistakable sound of broken hope and utter fatigue.  I found myself, cell phone in hand and  tears streaming, standing on a sidewalk in Corinth Mississippi and wishing for nothing more than five minutes in London – just so I could see that porcelain face and maybe make her smile. I gave her cliches and shattered useless words because they were all I could find. They weren’t enough. I sent up quick prayers for profound wisdom…and came up with nothing more than a choked-back sob. I hung up feeling like a failure as a friend, and wishing like crazy for a chance to redeem myself.

I spent the weekend away, for time that I needed and the kind of fun that I’d forgotten I was still allowed to have. I enjoyed myself and was homesick all at the same time, which I suppose is totally normal.

My friends became parents to a whopping baby boy (congratulations again, Dan and Jackie).

Then I came home to a frazzled day on Monday, a day spent Xeroxing and sorting and folding and ignoring the fact that I was setting myself up to lose a friend.

Monday night was the farewell service for Tim Jones, who was my boss – my priest – and over the past eight months, had become my friend. A thousand goodbyes have been said for the past month – people passing through with well wishes for Tim and his family on their move back to England. Articles were written, speeches were made, presents were given. I was a funnel for much of this – jotting down messages, handing over greeting cards, delivering packages.

I gave no gift, I wrote no card. I never thought about it, really. This past weekend, when reference was made to Tim’s leaving, I shut it out and put it away, determined not to be another teary face among the many.

I consoled people who were upset, I made arrangements, I helped pack boxes.timj

Monday night, even, in the flurry of people, I kept myself cheerful and helpful.

It wasn’t until the down-to-the-wire moment, when the processional into the church had already begun and I was whisked into Tim’s office to last-minute print out a document for the service, that all the events hit home at once.

I looked around at the empty desk, the still-to-be-shipped boxes, and I realized that he was going. My friend was going away, taking his family. I waited on his stupid slow computer to bring up the text I needed, and I shed the tears that I suppose I knew I’d have to eventually shed.

Even now, looking around the empty office, it doesn’t seem real that he’s gone. As the pieces of paper with his handwriting dwindle, I realize it more. Maybe by next November I’ll have stopped waiting for the sounds of humming Jimmy Buffett and random British shouts of glee from the office beside mine.

I thought that time heals all wounds. I lost Amanda to England, and it hasn’t gotten easier – my emotional sidewalk phone call proves that.

It’s okay to mourn the loss of people to distance, right? I hope so. Because it seems that the people I love have a tendency to itch away from here. Maybe one day I will, too, but for now I’m sad to be the one left behind.

*The above pictures were shamelessly stolen from Facebook.


About emylibef

I'm a wife, a mother, and many other things. I have blogged my life for over six years now, and this blog is the culmination of several blogs. In other words, I'm trying to get it all together. Bear with me.


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