Has this happened to you?
You attempt to say goodbye to someone and there are no words readily available?
Or the words you come up with are inadequate or just plain dumb?
It happened to me this week. I visited a dear longtime friend before he moves. There is no date on the calendar for when I’ll see him next. He’s moving very soon and I wanted to see him before he goes.
There were other people around when I got there. I didn’t call first because I was driving by his house anyway. I took my chances that I would be welcome for a brief visit. I stayed a short while, said a few things to him, chatted with the others and left. As I backed out of the driveway I berated myself for what I didn’t say. But the words weren’t there. They just weren’t.
I’ve had a few days to reflect on it since then so I sent a text this morning. I sent the text to his wife, one of my very best friends. This is what I said.
Good morning. I am sitting here thinking of your precious Ron. Please tell him that the other day I wanted to tell him what his friendship has meant to me…that I think of our small group and camping (with baby Angel crying) and minestrone soup and hiss goofy jokes. His faithfulness as a husband, dad and grandpa. This is the first time I’ve cried as the impact of his life well lived makes me smile and cry simultaneously. Remind him for me that I am a richer person for having known him and that he may beat us to Glory but it ain’t over till it’s over and I will expect minestrone soup when next we meet. It’ll probably all be organic too.
When I said my friend is moving I meant something different than you may have thought.
He will be moving in the sense that we won’t see him for a while-maybe a short time, maybe long.
He’ll be moving from a corruptible diseased body to one which will no longer be subject to cancer, death or sorrow. He’ll be moving to a place where there are no tears-no suffering.
And so we are sad for us. Family and friends and acquaintances that have been blessed by his life here. But we’re glad his moving day is almost here. Glad for him.