May is for leaving

This May, the theme in my life is leaving.

I leave for China in two days. It’s a four week trip, away from my husband, my kids, my pets, and my home for longer than I have attempted in a very long time. It will be an amazing trip: field research in multiple sites, sprinkled with sight-seeing and experiences, for the primary benefit of the five students who will make the flight with me. A colleague, in whom I have the utmost in respect and trust, will be meeting us in the airport. A scholar of Chinese language and literature, his support is invaluable, from making connections and arrangements to being able to give us context for our experiences in China.

I will be coming home again, but not in May.

This morning, I said goodbye to a minister who will be leaving while I am away. She told us this morning that, in order to ease the transition to a new minister, she will be cutting off everyone in the congregation, even on Facebook. She was our first contact in the church community, and her welcoming words four or so years ago brought us to a congregation with whom we feel we have found another home.

The week before last, I finished grading exams and attended events to celebrate and say goodbye to six colleagues and two administrators. A provost who was the department chair who hired me, a CIO with whom I worked closely, and several colleagues who I feel privileged to be able to call friends. Unlike my minister, they will stay in touch. But, they have all left their regular roles in the university — this month, in May.

And long ago, eleven long years ago, I said goodbye to one who cannot ever be replaced. Moms are special… I am reminded of that as my trip comes near, and my five year olds hold my hands in stores — of their own accord, and take every opportunity to touch and cuddle with me. (The ten year old is more subtle, but he also needs his mom…)

And so May is for leaving; this May, at least.

I will come home, to my husband, my kids, my pets, and my life.

But not until June.

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One Response to “May is for leaving”

  1. trailsatabbeywood Says:

    Have a wonderful trip Cheryl. I am sure everyone at home will miss you, and it does seem a long time, but it can be good for them to have to manage without you for a few weeks – and I am sure they will – you have good support. As for all the other goodbyes…that’s hard too, but there will be at least some new beginnings. Take care. Sandy

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