Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Goodbye, I'm bluer than blue...2011

Learning how to do goodbyes is one thing. Teaching your children how to do goodbyes is a whole other ball of wax. Looking forward to our time in Canada this summer helps enormously. Now they can experience "the leaving" and not just "the being left behind". 
Jayson manages to just kiss and hug his way through. Mikaylah is more contemplative and perhaps she better understands the ache of missing those who are now absent. We lost five students this week, plus one alumni who appeared for seven days and is now gone again. They won't really realize the entire loss until they welcome the dorm kids back in August and figure out that Bethany, Josh, Hannah, Elisheva and Spencer are not coming back. 

We just finished the very busy grad week filled with exams, special dinners out, birthdays, year book signing, parties, a soccer game, a banquet, bush dancing, a reception, and a graduation ceremony, not to mention the flurry of cleaning, packing and deciding what to keep and what to discard. Now that the students have vacated the premises the let down begins.Here are a few photos from our busy and emotionally draining week: 

Our dorm assistant, Cindy's birthday was the last one to be celebrated this year, June 8th.
Asyncrite and Spencer's room.  Trying to sort, pack and study all at the same time.
Bush Dancing in the dining hall became a favourite pastime this year.
We took our two seniors, Elisheva and Spencer to the Indian restaurant to give them their special dinner out and their grad gifts.

Eli and Spencer were happy to receive their quilts to keep them warm in America.
Creating a bottle band was just one of the creative things Eli wanted to do before leaving Niger.

We took Beth, Josh and Hannah out for their farewell dinner.
Dressing up in funny clothes, hairstyles and make-up was also on the list! Eli and Melinda...Rufus graduated last year and has been studying pre-med at ORU.  He was on a mission trip in Togo for three weeks in May and instead of going back to the US he managed to take a bus up to Niamey for a week to enjoy the end of the year festivities and renew relationships.  He will resume his studies at ORU in August.
Elisheva and me at the grad banquet.  She will be studying at Seattle Pacific University in the fall.  This young woman has been a great example to me and an inspiration to me and many others as well.  We will really miss her joyful exuberance.
Spencer giving Jayson a squeeze at the grad reception.  He is going to Taylor University in Indiana.  So we will be able to see him during our home assignment.
After their whirl-wind trip around the world, the Sim family will return to Australia.

As a dorm family we prayed especially for those who were leaving us.  Rituals and words help us to cope with loving and leaving.  But this life of transition also reminds us that our home is in heaven, and when we finally arrive, there will be no more good-byes!

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