There is a song from Sunset Boulevard called "As If We Never Said Goodbye" and while it's not really that applicable to my life, the line that gives the song its title has been going through my head ever since yesterday afternoon. In this song, Norma Desmond returns to the film studio where she was once a great silent film star and she sings about now natural it is to be back there after her "hiatus" from the screen. Right now, my life feels rather the opposite.
This year has been full of experiences and challenges and overwhelming joy, and all of a sudden, I only have three weeks left in this country. I remember thinking in May that it was going to go by fast, yet it seems to me that I said it only last week. Yesterday, we had a makeshift picnic at my friend's house which is not an uncommon occurrence, and between eating and playing cards, one of my friends knelt beside my chair and said, "You will come back, right?" That is when the song started playing in my head. While I do have to face the reality of leaving this place and these people I love so dearly, I want to spend each day with as much joy as God brings and not dwell in the upcoming pain of farewells.
As Shakespeare wrote in Romeo and Juliet, "parting is such sweet sorrow" and I don't think I really understood what "sweet sorrow" meant. Whenever I read that, I always thought, "Shakespeare. Come on, man, how can sorrow be sweet? Sorrow is sad. Sorrow is pain. What kind of a twisted, masochistic person would think sorrow could in any world visited by Kirk or Spock be a sweet or good thing?" I'm starting to understand it, though. With each farewell comes a flood of memories, with each hug and kiss comes an outpouring of love. It is by that love and that joy that we can say goodbye with joy.
Thanks be to God for His many blessings.