:: Day 6 ::
Today was a little excruciating on the inside. As we were standing before our family at Court Street United Methodist, I felt as though my heart might scream, though I've been trying to tame it just so. Ever since I got the job, and officially decided to move to Memphis, I've done good work avoiding all the very emotional spots that I knew would bring me to the brink of tears. It's all happened to quickly, you know? No times for real goodbyes. [Pastor] Bruce has known for the longest, and though he's "ready," I don't think he's really ready to let us go. Am I even ready to let them go?
But, you don't really get ready, do you? You just leave a little piece of your heart with them, and take what you've learned (and boy, have I learned) with you, and spread it around to the rest of the world, thereby leaving the mark of Court Street on other people, even when they don't even know it.
So, we stood there this morning, as Bruce asked the church to pray for us on our journey, saying our their bittersweet goodbyes, I held it together [barely.] I couldn't look in the eyes of anyone but Bruce, for fear that I would really lose it then, bawling a little too uncontrollably! And I confess, I am glad it is over. I can't have my heart ripped out like that every single Sunday. Ever since I heard about the job (2 months ago,) I've been emotional every Sunday, thinking about what life would look like without the presence of this family I've grown to love. Ah, but there will be a new family of brothers and sisters. There will be new experiences. I won't replace anyone or anything, just add more family and friends to the email list and the "list" in my heart of those I hold so dear.
But a tribute, now.
To Laurie, who always had room for lunch on her calendar, and let us ask the hard questions. Who closed her eyes during the communal singing on communion Sundays, allowing the meaning of the bread and the wine to enter into a place I had never let it touch.
Bruce, whose passion bleeds over into everything he does, and always shared my excitement about a new idea, even if no one else did. Whose passion for reconciliation is evident in every area of his life.
Toris, whose gentle spirit is noticeable to everyone around him, and whose eagerness to learn and grow is all but bursting out of him. Oh, how I hope he is given the chance in life...
Tyquel, who perseveres and overcomes, and who encourages and believes, after everything she's been through, after everything... Who is proof that God hasn't left us here alone.
To Imogene and Yvonne, who love us with a love that warms every piece of your heart, with their good cakes and meals and good lovin' that everybody needs. Who have known the loss of a spouse, loss of control, and have gone to hell and back, and still come out smiling and serving their brothers and sisters on the other side.
To the Schramms and the invitation to share free food and laughs on their front porch, when I wasn't even invited (or rather, I was always invited.)
To JB and Mark, who never fail to deliver their hugs and words of encouragements, who love us no matter who we are and what color we are.
Court Street...... Oh, my how you will be missed.
Today wasn't easy. But the journey is full of tough, bittersweet, and joyous moments like these that make us who we are.
Peace to you, dear family.