15 March, 2014

The funeral has begun

My son is in the flanny and hat (?US=plaid shirt), he was
Lurvy, Mr Zuckerman's hired man.
On Thursday I watched my youngest son's class perform a short stage-version of Charlotte's Web. They did a good job, though one of the hardest things to do seemed to be to project their voices. I barely heard any of the lines spoken without mikes and I was only about four rows from the front.

It's been a while since I saw the other parents from this class. I was shocked to find that people have begun mourning our departure. They've discovered that we're leaving for a year. 

We're back in that period before a departure that feels like a living funeral. I shocked someone yesterday who started to enthuse to me about a friend who was coming as a new staff member in August. She stopped half-way through and said sadly, "Oh, but you won't be here." 


I replied, "But it isn't a funeral . . . we'll be back in a year." 

She was shocked at my words, primarily, I assume, because it used that word: funeral.

It does feel like a funeral, though. We're going and there is pain in that, and people will miss us. Praise God they will miss us, that means that we've meant something to them. It's hard enough to leave, but when you have repeated conversations like the above it does tend to make it even harder. On Thursday afternoon in the space of a couple of hours I had multiple conversations about us leaving. It just left me feeling empty and sad.

Thankfully at home we're able to enthuse about the upcoming change. Over breakfast this morning we talked like this:

"Oh, in Australia, we'll be able to have Weetbix every day," enthused my eldest as he spread his toast with butter.
"And as much Promite as we want." said his brother, catching onto the spirit.
I reminded them, "What about lamb, and meat pies, and sausage rolls?"
The youngest chimed in, "And BBQs and sausages."

"Remember the space, the large backyards."
"And the fast cars."
"No," corrected one boy, "higher speed limits."

Ah, our hearts were filled with good memories of Australia and how good it will be to be there for a while. I guess for the sake of others I must undergo a living funeral. Thankfully I can come home and rejoice with my family in the things to look forward to while we're away.

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