So my extended family is in the process of saying good-bye to the family farm. It has been a long time coming, and here we are, only a few short weeks from the official end of a landmark for us all. Everyone has said, or is saying, their good-bye in a different way, as it is unique to each of us.
One thing that has been true of all of us, is joy of searching through all the mementos and items that date back to the beginning.
Each of us shared stories of what was important, how we viewed mom and dad from childhood til today, and how we cherished our memories. And more importantly, how we resolved and worked through different hurts and struggles from the past. As we went through things, watched the grandkids and great-grandkids look on and explore with excitement, I realized that a ‘thank you’ and a good ‘good-bye’ really are not that far apart.
I found this beauty hidden away in one of the last items pulled from the attic. Surprisingly, one of my older nephews found far more glee in what was pulled out first – My Transformers that he and his brother would sneak into my room to play with. But for me it was realizing that a certain leather brief case was not just another found then lost item, but turned out to be my grandpa’s old attache case. In near mint condition, it contained some of his study books and notes from his final years as a pastor. Being a pastor, I felt an emotional surge when I saw it.
I somehow felt a link with a man I never got to know, while saying good-bye to the place I always knew as home. And I was grateful.
It has been said that the world turns on kindness and gratitude. Unfortunately we all too easily use this energy dispensed by others thinking we are making the globe spin on our own greed and personal desires. Then we have to say good-bye to something, or someone, that is important to us, and our intentions are called into account. It could be the human condition, or maybe just a time of personal injustice, that brings us to that place. But it is unfortunate that we need such moments to be awakened to truth in our own lives.
Justice thrives on gratitude, and often it is in a good-bye that we are given the opportunity to realize the need for it. And when we put it in perspective, we allow ourselves more and more space to show kindness to someone who does not yet get it.
Today, look for reasons to say thanks, and say good-bye to whatever you know needs to move on.