Thursday, June 2, 2016

Liturgy in Leaving

I haven't been able to post much of what's going on in our lives these days...mostly because it's either mind numbingly mundane or it's heart wrenchingly personal. I will say that that pretty much sums up the lived experience, doesn't it?

Right now, the boys and I are counting down the last few weeks of Jason being out of province. We were happy to catch up with him this past long weekend at his parents' place in Manitoba. We spent three full days of family time as 4+ the dog and it was awesome.

I've never been good at goodbyes and over the years, I have been known to lament a goodbye in advance of the actual event and have given myself added grief when I could have been enjoying the company of those I was loathe to leave. I haven't got much better at this but I have improved somewhat, knowing that it only robs me of the joy in the moment, the good in the togetherness.

I find it easier too, if I know when I will see the person or place again. I mean, we can all hang in for a definite amount of time, as long as we know what it is. We can busy ourselves or distract ourselves in the longing to be back together, as long as we are promised it. When I leave Zambia or Zimbabwe, Ethiopia or even friends just south of the border that I love, I rely on the return date to get me to the airport without shredding my ticket and jumping off the bus.

This time, saying goodbye to Jason was eased a little by the fact that we are in the home stretch of his 4.5 month stint in Alberta. We're down to 3 weeks and some hours and it seems incredibly manageable though still not super enjoyable...but the end is in sight.

One of the reasons we went out to Manitoba this past weekend, was that our nephew, Mac, is declining in health. They were out here in March and we celebrated his 19th birthday with of a few birthday celebrations we've been lucky enough to have with him in our home. His memory of going to the Monster Trucks in Reno, NV with us is a strong one...while Lloyd and I have mixed emotions about our decision to take Mitch, Aidan and Mac to a venue filled with exhaust fumes and passionate-post-9-11 Americans shooting accusing glances at us for not covering our hearts with our hands during the national anthem. (or maybe that was just paranoia on my part...) Either way, who knew the anthem was so long or so awkward?

This birthday, Aidan drove Mac and Kamerin to a Saskatoon Rush game and the three of them had a great time, taking in lacrosse and the equally passionate fans of the game here in our city. 19 seems like a lifetime ago for me but I can remember that it was the year I left for a year on my own in Australia and figured out a whole lot of who I was and what I wanted in life.


And that's where the words leave me.

I know the next few weeks and months are a balance of celebrating the good in every day, something that Kim and Lloyd and their family are exemplifying so beautifully, and anticipating grief. It's hard to stay in the "see the good" moments when the anticipation threatens to plunge you into premature grieving.

"They" say it's a process but I don't know where we're at in it all. I know that there is mediocrity in the midst of the heart wrenching reality, and that it all comes together into a sharp and painful but intensely incredible beauty as well, watching someone so loved, be loved and cared for.  There is a gift in the ability to see it but sometimes there just seems to be too many tears to see anything clearly right now.

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