Saying goodbye is never easy.  I learned that lesson a few years ago when I had to say goodbye to my grandmother.  She was ready to die.  She had lived for almost 92 long, mostly hard years.  The joy she brought to my family was immense.  My selfish heart wanted her to stay by my side forever.  When she died I was devastated.  My head knew she was ready and at peace but every fiber of my being wanted her to live on with me here on this earth.  Last year, my Great Aunt passed away.  It was so sudden I was in shock through most of the process of her final wishes, funeral, and cleaning out her apartment.  Once again I learned how hard it is to say goodbye to those we love and care about.

Today I said goodbye to a man who influenced my life more than he probably knew.  He was the pastor at my church when I was a small child.  I remembered him as the first bald man I ever met, the quiet reserve of authority, and that he could never remember my name.  He always called me Cassandra, and I never corrected him.  I’m not sure why I didn’t correct him, maybe because he was so genuine and I was a little shy.  All I knew was I liked that I had a special name with him, even if it wasn’t my given name.  He was a very kind man.  He was a part of my congregations life well after he was no longer our pastor. 


I attended the funeral at my home congregation to celebrate his life.  As I walked in the front doors I saw people I knew from years gone by and so many new familiar faces as well.  I sat behind my parents, welcomed into the reserved seating for the pastors.  I guess being a PK (Pastors Kid) allowed for my presence.  It was a beautiful service, full of love and remembrances.  The hymns were sung with pride.  All around me were smiling faces.  Tears were shed as well for the friend, father, husband, grandfather, leader and mentor while the smiles shone through.  He was a great man and saying goodbye is difficult yet I know the lives he touched will carry on his spirit.

Goodbye, I will miss you and thank you.

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