Sweet Sorrow

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I was sad hugging my husband goodbye at the train station that early, dark morning in Germany. It seems like years ago, though it has only been two weeks.

When we jetted away from our good friends after a perfect day in Boston, I heard the words (from more than one Wellman), “I wish we didn’t have to leave already.”

It would become a common refrain.

Pulling away in my rental car, and seeing my grandmother close her front door made me wish for just a little more of that precious commodity we call “time.”

I can hardly stand to recall the tears of my mother as she hugged the kids, not knowing when she will see them again.

And there was the moment frozen in my memory, of my grandparents, standing on their front porch in the fading light, their hands raised at our parting. I couldn’t look very long–not with the tears blurring my vision.

When we originally left the states for Germany, we didn’t know how long our goodbyes would have to last. It ended up being six years–a lifetime in kid years.

There will be more partings before the final week of our trip is over, and I do not look forward to those.

But I have to remember, for every goodbye, there was an equally enthusiastic hello. For every tear drop, there were hours of laughter. For every parting hug, there were multiple good night hugs, good morning hugs, or the very best, hugs for no reason.
I have lingered over coffee, laughed over knitting, and have relished the simple joy of walking next to people who held me as a baby.

There have been a thousand conversations and stories and dreams shared.

There are hopes and wishes and prayers and kisses exchanged, and tender little hands held by ones rough with time and wear.

Whether our goodbyes will echo in our hearts four years or four months, and despite the sorrow we feel at parting, we will hold close the sweetness of being with those we love.

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