That little phrase has, unfortunately, been kind of our theme phrase for the past year or so.
In the fall of 2015, we lost both Mark's Grandpa Ed and his Great Grandpa Bob. Both of these losses were especially difficult for Annabeth. They were the first time that she dealt with death that she could rememeber and it was the first time she understood that they wouldn't be back. I sometimes still find her looking a bit sad and when asked why she will say, "I miss Grandpa Bob."
This school year, Kindergarten, has come with some good-byes as well. Most of our friends are now in school four or five days a week making it nearly impossible to get together to play. Annabeth doesn't understand why we can't just run over to people's houses to play. She is missing one friend desperately - they live about an hour away and when the girls were little we played nearly every week. She cries all the time to see this friend and as a Mama, I just wish I could make the schedules work so we could play! It breaks my heart to watch her cry from missing a friend.
Last week, our dear friend Cynthia came by to say "See you later" for the last time while she lives here in Indiana. Cynthia's husband is in the army and their three years here have come to a close. Cynthia and her girls were my biggest support through my pregnancy with Owen and then when he was a baby. Having them right here, in our neighborhood, was the biggest blessing! We are thankful that they will be in Colorado, just one plane ride away, but Facebook and phone calls just won't be the same as having them right here.
The kids waving "See you later" to Cynthia as she left.
We learned over the weekend that our neighbor and dear friend, Mr. Wheatley has entered the Life Eternal. Between Mark and I, we only have one grandparent left. We have been so richly blessed with neighbors on both sides that have kind of become grandparents for the kids and ourselves. Ed and Gloria and the Wheatleys have helped to fill some big holes left by the passing of our grandparents. Mr. Wheatley has been ill since the summer so we know that his passing was an end to suffering but it's so sad to think of just Mrs. being next door.
It is difficult for me, even as an adult, to say "Goodbye" and it's even more difficult to navigate as a parent. I don't want the kids to feel pain or to miss people and yet it's part of life. I pray that we are doing a good job of showing them how to remember fondly and to also move on. Ecclesiastes 3 reminds us that life is full of seasons, I am just so sad to see some sweet seasons of friendships moving into new seasons.