It’s happened before. It’ll happen again. Another series of goodbyes has left me broken. To be fair, in anyone’s life there are seasons and changes. But perhaps the times that I feel most compelled to write are the times that I have much floating in my heart—unspoken, unfathomed thoughts that have yet to culminate to emotions. And perhaps the times I cannot bear to be silent are the ones that sever ties I’ve cherished.
“I wish the ring had never come to me, Gandalf. I wish none of this had happened.”
“So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”
Eight seniors lived in my dorm with me this year. Eight pieces of my heart flew away this July. Many other seniors will be greatly missed for reasons as varied as they themselves. From musical talent to laughs to adventures to simple smiles—each person who received their diploma has left a dent in my heart. And yet it is merely a year away, that day that I will watch nearly 70 people cross that same stage and fight the tears because this time it’s us.
This year is my first and last year as a senior at RVA. I know that sounds silly, because most people only get one year as a senior; but that’s just it. We only have one year, and then we’re gone.
The key is to remember what God taught me last summer: people are important. Every gift He’s given us, every moment we’re allowed—they’re all meant for us to use to love God by loving people. Jesus spent way more time telling us about the times He spent with His friends and followers and… and… just people than He ever spent telling us about what He learned in the synagogue.
Sometimes I ask Him why He expects me to love people that I know will soon leave me. Sometimes I wonder why He wants me to tear my heart so that I can love someone that will fly away. And sometimes I wonder why He bothered loving Judas. The only answer I can fathom is that it’s worth it. The pain, the tears, the goodbyes… to have loved is better than these. I cannot say that memories alone are worth it, but if the future is added to the past, present pain is well worth the cost.
I know that the chances of seeing all of my heart put back together again are as slight as my chances of ever living a boring life. But I also know that the joys of the past will shape my future. The people I have known and loved this year will continue to affect my life. To be friends is to change, and change is never completely reversible. The only thing I can seek to do is be a positive change in the lives I’m put here to share.