I think we all can agree that saying goodbye is never easy.
And while the word “goodbye” has garnered a rather negative emotional connotation in society, there is another way, a more positive way, to perceive it.
Author A.A. Milne, who is perhaps best known for his books about a teddy bear named Winnie-the-Pooh, once wrote:
“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”
While saying goodbye does mean accepting that a part of our life is now over, it also provides us with a chance to realize just how blessed our lives have been.
To look back and reflect on the journeys I've shared with some wonderful Sisters, teachers, students, and my site partner, I've been exposed to amazing and invaluable experiences that I will always remember.
When I first came to Cambodia I was so scared. As I told my students today, which got me choked up, I was very scared to be a teacher. I had no background, and I thought I would fail them. I wanted them to have a great year and learn a lot, and I doubted that I could do that for them.
I doubted that google powerpoints weren't enough to teach them. I doubted if it was a good lesson or not. I doubted everything.
Today, I wanted to tell my students thank you for not giving up on me. For always encouraging me in class, saying that it was okay, and they understood.
Sharing feelings is very hard for me and when I started talking, I started crying.
I hate crying. I had all my thoughts ready and then I couldn't say a word. But the students were so kind.
My students knew I needed help and started to sing to me... they sang
"Be Strong and Courageous , and Do Not Be Afraid"
I have always loved the phrase Do Not Be Afraid. It was an important phrase when I was praying to go on mission, so hearing my students sing that to me made my heart so happy.
We have to be strong and courageous.
If I came to Cambodia and didn't talk to anyone, it would have been a boring year.
My life was changed because I reached out with courage, while not knowing their language, and talked to my students. I was very afraid, But I did it.
And 10 months later, I have the greatest relationships with my students, which makes saying goodbye so hard.
But if I didn't take that first step, I wouldn't be where I am today.
Regardless of how long someone has been a part of our lives, whether it’s five minutes, five years, or five decades, their impact will always remain with us—even after we utter that simple, yet hard to say, two-syllable word.
The quote below, from Walt Disney, has continually provided me comfort on days when I’m feeling sad and lonely and need a little reminder of the blessings I’ve been given, which no one can ever take away.
“Goodbye may seem forever. Farewell is like the end, but in my heart is the memory and there you will always be.”