My beloved M and I attended a farewell party held by friends at my former church last May 28. It was a happy/sad affair. I had asked my beloved M a few days earlier if she were going to cry, and she said she probably would. People probably knew that; the goal during the farewell party was to try and make me cry.
And try they did.
We were treated to a few songs by the Church Choir and the Echoes of Praise group. The songs were very encouraging.
After the songs, several friends got up and gave a few words of encouragement to M and me. They represented the major groups and fellowships in the church. Several more stated they were going to miss me and M.
One of the associate pastors gave a seven-point(!) message on hope. I know he meant well, but to this day, I still don’t get what the message had to do with my beloved M or me. Or maybe it was for the church?
Of course, what’s a party without food? The food was very good, and reminded me of one of the things I enjoyed so much in their company—good food mixed with good conversation. I don’t know if I’ll find something even remotely similar to that in my new line of work.
In the end, only my beloved M shed tears. I was stoic, even while eating the food. Nonetheless, we both appreciated what our church friends did for us. When it comes to the saying, “Parting is such sweet sorrow,” they made it more “sweet” than “sorrow.”
I may not be able to say this much after that night, but I will indeed miss them.
PS Remarkably, the twain individuals who reverse-prevaricated for me that it was more to my benefit to pursue an alternative sphere of enterprise were conspicuously not in attendance.