In the wee hours of the morning, while we’re still in the land of unlimited internet, I find myself checking Facebook. Days like today sometimes make me wish I hadn’t. Scattered throughout my newsfeed are pictures of jetlagged friends in exotic places scattered throughout the world with the caption “—flights down, and – flights to go.” Some we will see again. Many we will not. I feel again the pain of goodbyes.
I hate goodbyes. More are upon us as we prepare to go back to PNG. Each place I go at this point, there’s the little voice in my head saying, “This is the last time you’ll do this before you go. Better make it count.” It’s the last chance to buy that thing. It’s the last time to hug that friend. It’s the last dinner to share together. Life will happen with both good and bad before I have that chance again. Not knowing what will happen in between this time and next makes it seem that much longer. Each encounter is now precious and too few.
Memories created with friends and family are so very dear to me. When I’m absent, it’s these memories I cling to and savor when they feel so far away. As I watch my daughter interacting with those I love here, I know she will not remember the encounters. She is so cared for and spoiled by others. I listened to my sister, with tears in her eyes, talking about how she knows that Naomi won’t remember these times together. She’s poured her love into little Naomi’s life with hugs, smiles and kisses, knowing that Naomi will forget all about it. She’s still too young to remember.
Although she won’t be able to keep these memories on her own, I know I’ll remind her. I’ll show pictures and tell of when. She might not have her own memories, but she’ll know people we care about. She’ll know about the aunt who helped with her birth, walks she took with her grandma, see the video of her great grandparents singing to her, and hear about kisses from her aunts. When she struggles to know them, I’ll remind her. Because it’s important that she remembers them.
Jesus commanded that we remember him. He felt the pain of the last moments and the countdown in his time here. It was in that last supper that he asked them to eat, drink and remember. He knew how forgetful we are. When we feel so far away and life throws things at us we weren’t expecting, sometimes we forget all the times we’ve shared together and what he has done. We are to remind each other who he is and what he’s done. We’re to tell those who don’t know. One day, we’ll see him face to face and the separation won’t seem as long or as bad. Until then, let’s remind each other of what he’s done. Let’s tell those who don’t know. Let’s remember him together.