May 29, 2011

Making Memories

 "He has made everything beautiful in its time..." Ecclesiastes 3:11

Aaron stoking our last bon fire
It was our last Sunday all together as a group. Kim was going to be leaving the next day, and the goodbyes would start. I felt like I'd poured my soul into this place, these people this life. And soon it would all be gone.

Pastor Marc and the AY had planned a bon fire for us on the beach. So after darkness had fallen and the stars had come out, our whole group of SMs and AYs grabbed firewood and wandered down the road to the beach. Once the fire was going, we gathered into a circle and we all went around and spoke.

"Filipinos, you know, aren't like Americans," Pastor Marc said. "We're not very good at expressing ourselves, not as good as you are." But they expressed their thanks quite well, I thought. They told us how we'd helped them and thanked us for our sacrifices. "We will remember you always," one friend said. "You're worth remembering."

"It's hard to say goodbye," Kristel said, "but time is saying you need to go." And we all knew she was right.

After we finished our bon fire time, we decided to wander back to the pavilion to eat snacks and just hang out with one another. I stood to go after many had already left, and as I turned my back to the beach I saw Carina waiting for me. We walked and talked and were a little sad together. As we neared the church again, she asked me what we were going to do the rest of the night. I shrugged. "Just talk and eat. Maybe play some games. You're coming over right?"

"No," she said in that tone I'd learned to never take seriously.

"Apay?" I looked at her with a smirk and asked why.

"We shouldn't make any more happy memories, Katelyn. That way we'll have less to look back on and be sad about."

I laughed and said, "So should we just get into a fight so we don't talk the rest of the time?"

"Yes!" She said with a smile.

She came, of course, and we all enjoyed the evening together. But I understood her words and her concern. The more attached you get to a place or person, the harder it is to part.

Wonderful Friends!

But I like to flip it the other way around: the more painful or sad it is to leave, that means there has been a greater connection. And the greater the connection, well, the more there is to be happy about. No matter how we feel when we come to the end of something good, there's comfort in knowing that it was just that--good.

We can give a sigh of contentment at the memory of its beauty.

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