I can never sing that hymn (actually, this time I just listened to the beautiful "choir" sing it to me in the Trine dialect) without remembering a relative's double funeral years ago, and their grown children's impression, shared later with me, that the deceased parents were singing the words TO the children.
It's dawned on me a few times, how this experience I'm having is a bit like life in general - I left at a different time, to a different place, than many of my friends and family....(like when we were all in the spirit world together in our pre-mortal life).
When I got here, I didn't know my way around! It was all new to me. I had to learn bit by bit, grow and s-t-r-e-t-c-h to deal with the parts I wasn't wild about. I admit I cried about it a few times. (Like coming into this world, and learning how to navigate - first babyhood, then toddler, then taking off on your own, etc)
Now I am leaving (early Tuesday morning) and again I'll cry...I'm leaving dear friends...although I know I'm going back to old and dear ones.
It reminds me of all the goodbyes I've said over the years - to grandparents, dear aunts and uncles, then our baby daughter Angela, then a nephew, a niece, then my dad, my husband, and my mother-in-law.
They left and I cried.
But I know they were then reunited with dear friends and family...and that is a comfort.
As someone said about a ship sailing - some watch it leave, wave, and say "There she goes" - with sadness - while on a distant shore, others wait eagerly for the same passengers, saying "Here she comes!"
It seems life is made up of hello's and good-bye's....
I have loved the people I've served and served with, here.
I wanted to get a picture of what is a commonplace happening here - but still extraordinary in my experience - the ward's returned/serving missionaries were called up to the front to sing to a departing missionary, Daniel. (I was called up to play for them so I missed taking the picture, too bad). Members of that group are often asked publicly to bear testimony, give advice, etc. It now includes two young women! one of them my companion....with another young woman returning from her mission soon. What a strong, wonderful young group they are.
The Curepe Ward loves to celebrate with food, I've found - they really do it up right! Today was no exception: after church the Relief Society served "brunch" (delicious finger foods and cake) to the 15 fathers in the ward; but of course couldn't leave out the rest of us either...it really it the spot.
Since I didn't get any good pictures this week I'm adding two I took earlier. One thing I love about Trinidad is the brightly colored houses. Our apartment building is bright blue (we call it "Blue Heaven"). Our landlord's house next door is bright gold. There's a house with lime green accents just down the street. My favorite color is the purple and blue house around the corner.
Thursday was a holiday here, the Catholic holiday "Corpus Christi Day". There are also various Indian and African holidays celebrated in Trinidad.
We celebrated by going to Maracas Beach, where it was a little shady, thank goodness! but a while after this picture was taken, I still acquired some color...today I'm just getting rid of the sunburn at the top of my arms, with the help of a fresh aloe vera plant...
Here we were drinking coconut water straight from the fruit, with straws. Then you scrape the thin layer of white jelly out and eat it - delicious! I also tasted the inside of a cocoa bean plant; and tiny baby bananas, very tasty.