Last Sunday.

3 Sep
My last Sunday at Grace really was all things wonderful.  I preached my last sermon, was given many kind words, and honored in the best ways possible during coffee hour.  The do-day ladies, with whom I tied quilts every month, made me a quilt.  The congregation as a whole gave me generous gifts, many hugs, and much love as I was sent on my way.
Being honored during the worship service.  Coworkers Keith, Tammy, Emily and Karen in the background.  (Along with the top of Chris’ head.  And Kendall is probably the receiver of my surprised/are-you-kidding-me face.)

Coffee hour was in my honor and included my own gnome story, a song – sung to Home on the Range, and an ode to my time as an intern.  It was a roast in the kindest way possible.  In many ways, it made it even more difficult to leave because it was so wonderful and honoring.  It did however include the revealing of my high school weekend winter occupation … the stripping came up.  (And then I owed the fellowship hall an explanation of what kind of [tobacco] stripping my parents made me do as a child.)
After the congregation members had made their leave, I took the much-talked-about tour of the sanctuary attic.  Keith, the custodian, had been promising me such a field trip for months to visit the bats, but it hadn’t happened.  So, in my pointy Nine West heels, I climbed the ladder to the attic to say that I’d been there, done that, check.  (Pictures still to come.  I know you want to see the sanctuary attic just as much as I did!)  Then the staff and I stood in the main office, none of us quite willing to say the first goodbye.  
Keith was the first to make his leave, giving me a hug, and saying, 
“Goodbye, Sunshine.  
It’s been fun.” 
Slowly but surely, sadly and with tears, the rest of the hugs were given and goodbyes were said.  The staff have become close friends – family in many senses of the word.  
Sad day.

Almost a week later and at home in Edgerton, I still feel displaced (as my wise friend, Justin, calls it).  I’m still sad.  I cried pretty much all of Sunday afternoon, Monday and Tuesday.  I even treated myself to a bit of pity-shopping … which led to the addition of two new cardigans to my wardrobe.  (Opps?)  The added stress of needing to complete and send in my 20 page approval paper helped matters none.  But it will get better.  Time at home is good.  Feelings of displacement will wane.  Back to St.Paul on Monday.  Class on Tuesday.

But for now – I grieve.  I grieve the end of internship and the physical distance friendships and relationships.

Sad day.

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