Clean Up in Aisle Erin

My heart hurt on more then one occasion today.  The feelings of happiness overwhelmed me, and bittersweet memories came alive once more.  How much can change in one year is so astonishing to me.    I’ve always said I hated saying goodbye, but I like the goodbyes where you don’t really say it and you don’t even know it will be one.   As it were, a surprise goodbye.  Never the less, a sad goodbye.   Today memories came flooding back to me of a certain German accent.  You become fond of voices over time, certain ones bring comfort, maybe a smile, peace, or maybe the complete opposite.  I loved this voice, for there was something in it that just made me smile every time I heard it.  A beautiful German accent, but behind the voice a lovely man whom my sister and I had claimed as a favourite customer.  I lovingly  nicknamed him Gromit, I always meant Wallace, but Gromit somehow stuck.  I always expect to see him again, but sadly when I spoke to him last before I left for England, I never knew that would be my goodbye.   Today as I was putting on my gloves, I heard a familiar voice.  A voice that brought a smile to my face, and as I turned around there was his wife and daughter standing at the counter.  Just listening to her voice, softly speaking to her daughter,  brought back those memories of my last conversation with him.   Almost vividly I could hear him asking for his usual half pound of muenster cheese, and so much did I want him really to be there once again.   And so as I helped her at the counter, tears came to my eyes with the realisation that the dear voice I had come to love on Tuesdays would only be a memory.  A memory that will always bring a smile, and maybe just a wee glisten in the eye, but what a legacy to leave behind.  I hope my voice one day will bring a smile to someones face on Tuesday like Gromit did for me.

Memory is a way of holding onto the things you love, the things you are, the things you never want to lose.

Memories have been flooding back to me. The feeling that I had when I first walked off the plane in Birmingham, to the first time I walked into the room and met all the other gap year kiddos like myself, the first time I met Margaret and Teddy,  when I met Rich, Emily, Chan, Sid, and Sean, to the first time I had to speak in front of a classroom, the first time I landed in a strangers lap trying to get off the bus.  So many memories. 

There are things in life that sometimes I give up on.  Like I never really believed I would see my Irish friends again when we had gone to Russia together in 2003, and in this trip to England I was able to fly over to Ireland for a glorious weekend to meet up once again with melanie and andi.  I never thought that I would actually see with my own eyes Big Ben, or touch the water in the Roman Baths.  That I would never see a big Red Telephone Booth.   That I would actually do a year in missions.

There are things that I never really expected to happen. Like the close friendship that I have made that I don’t think I will ever lose, becoming an aunty, having family,  and really losing my heart for a country and the people once again like I had for Russia.  Who ever thought I would love brussel sprouts.

There were things that I had expected.  To see God do miracles in lives even in mine.   

This past year so much happened.  So many memories seen, experienced, and cherished.   Tucked away in my heart for me to pull out whenever I feel like it, and even though there are days where I badly want to be back, it’s ok.  It’s ok because I am trying to follow some crazy plan that God has for my life, and at the moment I’m not entirely sure but I think I’m on the right path.  Though sometimes I wonder if crying is a bad sign.  🙂  It’s ok.  

What I do know is that I have had such a wonderful time with all I did and experienced last year, that I would want to recreate it once again. But the thing that I have learned is that you can never recreate an experience….because life always throws you something new.   I’m ready for a new adventure, whether that is being a freshman in uni….or galavanting somewhere entirely different.  I’m ready for some new memories that 2010 will bring, and I’m quited excited for them.

I will always hang on to the memories that I have made, and look back fondly.  I am so thankful for my friends in the UK and who knows when I will get back to see them all once again, but I do know for certain that I will go back.    A fresh new start, a fresh new adventure is awaiting. hurray!

But what else can I end with but the old wonderful sad tune that is always sung on New Years Day. 

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old lang syne ?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we’ll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
and surely I’ll buy mine !
And we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.
We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.
We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine† ;
But seas between us broad have roared

And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.