Yuck Yuck Yuck. There’s not a lot that I dislike more than saying goodbyes. It’s really one of the worse things about our job. I think Emily Dickinson got it right: Parting is all we know of heaven and all we need to know of hell. I so agree! Even though we are coming back next year, it is not easy to pick up and leave life that is in the midst of its busy flow.

Here are a few farewells from this past week.

Eric’s children’s class prepared some special thank yous and presents for him, and a party for all of us:

My friend Natsuko had a birthday party for her daughter Asana, but it was also a going-away party for Annie from some of her friends and their moms.  They gave us special gifts for each of the kids to use on the airplane rides!

Our house church came over on Saturday morning to help us with cleaning, and then to have a farewell party for us and birthday party for Eric.  We will miss them so!

Today was Owen’s last sports club after school.  His teacher is really wonderful, and I happened to catch the last five minutes in which he called Owen up to the front and in true Japanese style honored him…

And then tonight- another hard goodbye… our friend Megumi came to pick up Molly, our little Maltese.  We can’t take her with us on all of our travels, so several different friends will take care of her.  It was hard! – Hard! to say goodbye to her!  It doesn’t get easier.  


There is one goodbye that is particularly hard for us, because when we come back in 8 months, they will be gone, onto the next season of their lives in England.  Bobby and Claire, our dear friends over the past 3 years, have been family to us in many ways.  Last night we went to Outback Steakhouse for Eric’s birthday and to sort of say goodbye…

One of the things that I have always vowed as a missionary is to let my roots go deep – wherever we are, for whatever amount of time.  It is this very thing that causes so much joy in life, and yet the most pain.

Tomorrow, and the next five days, will each hold partings, and I know I will get teary-eyed again and again.  Thankfully, though, these farewells will be mixed with cleaning out a few more cupboards and packing up boxes and suitcases and the million mundane details that will help to steady us and propel us into the next stage of saying hellos, and goodbyes again.



6 thoughts on “Partings

  1. Olivia is wearing some pretty awesome clothes in her sweet picture with Bobby. I love the Nike tennis look on her!

  2. Sue,

    It always helps me to know that there are lots of people on the other side of the ocean who will be overjoyed to see you and the whole family and will make you all feel special.


  3. ugh. i am SO with you. but you have done the absolute right thing to let your heart be big enough for all your friends and family there, as well as for your friends and family here. it isn’t easy to have (to choose to have) and elastic heart that can embrace and say goodbye…..but it gives Life.

    my prayers are with you several times a day. any family that can pull off an 8 month trip to another country is heroic.

    i love you, and i am among the throngs waiting for you on this side of the pacific.

  4. Sue and Eric,
    We joyfully await your arrival here in the US! But we are praying for you as you leave. We know it must be so hard. But how faithful you have been to your calling, and how faithful God has been to you!! As always, we love your updates, as they give us more insight into how to best pray for you, and we feel like we have caught up a little bit. We can’t wait to catch up in person! Love, Diane

  5. Sue,
    I am already dreading the goodbyes for next year! I have loved watching you go deep this term (as always!) and know that you will have people waiting for you on this side when you come back. Also, sometimes when we leave, it serves to “quicken” people spiritually–they can’t rely on their relationship with you to define their relationship with God. So may you leave some new sisters and brothers–in the well-tended care of your church plant family. AND, may you head strongly into the loving arms of the people who have been holding you up these years.

    We’ll miss you–but I’m glad you can do this and that God has worked so much out with visa stuff, et al.


  6. Oh Sue – I get teary eyed myself just looking at these photos and reading your words. I don’t know how you do it! Well I do – GOD – but I can’t imagine…Safe travels to you and your family. I can hardly wait until we meet! Until then, you will all be in our prayers.

    God bless you and your ministry,

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