I’ve already mentioned that my second favorite music teacher is retiring next month. What I haven’t mentioned is all of the other goodbyes I’m saying starting tonight. So here we go…

When Aboji and I started attending our church 13 years ago, M and Z were 4 and 2 respectively. We walked into this, unbeknownst to us at the time, fresh new building full of people and everyone seemed to know everyone and know where to go. Aboji and I must have looked like a couple of deer in the headlights because we were quickly greeted by the Children’s Pastor. She greeted us with a smile and walked us through the steps of getting our kids into the children’s classes before directing us to the adult service.

This amazing stranger made us feel like we belonged even though we had just walked in the doors. She was friendly, welcoming, and comforting in the face of leaving our kids with perfect strangers. Without her, we wouldn’t be where we are today. A couple months ago she resigned because she and her husband have recently become adoptive parents to really young kids after being empty nesters for a couple of years. Today…this evening really, we officially said goodbye to her as a staff member. She’s not going anywhere since her husband is still a staff member, but it gave a sense of closure to that part of her life.

A week from today I plan to go to my former community college to say goodbye to the man who shaped who I am as a musician. I spent countless hours in this man’s office learning about music, how to better play my instruments, and how to be a better person. He also showed me how to have a sense of humor when I made mistakes…even if I still struggle with that on a daily basis. He showed me that life is meant to be fun even in the midst of seriousness…who else would keep employing someone who played Darth Vader’s death march in the orchestra pit during a serious scene happening on stage? Or keep employing someone who had pizza delivered to the orchestra pit during a show? The same man who encouraged me to collect all of the streamers thrown into the pit to accidentally make the “wig” you see in my About picture is who!

I don’t know if I’m permanently saying goodbye to him just yet. Aboji works in the grocery store where he shops, we don’t live too far apart, and I also know he plans to keep performing as more and more events open back up. I’m just glad I get a one-on-one chance to say goodbye…even if it’s just goodbye for now.

The following week is going to be my last regularly scheduled work week until either August or September. I normally try to end each semester with the kids making gifts for their parents – Christmas in November/December and Mother’s Day and Father’s Day in April/May – but I only have 3 kids this semester and they aren’t always consistent in coming to church. I still have plans to try, but I’m not holding my breath. I also know that this isn’t a permanent goodbye since I’ll see the kids throughout the summer on the weekends, but it’s always bittersweet to miss their growth during breaks.

How often do you go through seasons of saying goodbye? Have they been happy occasions? Let me know in the comments! Alsooooo……

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