As we prepare to leave Beirut I am working to have us leave well. By leaving well I don't simply mean using up what is in the cupboard and freezer, sorting through boxes and closets, and getting our school checkouts complete. I mean taking time to spend time with the people that have made living here home and doing the things we either have always wanted to or the things we have done, but need to do 'one more time'.
It means making sure there at least a bit on intentional time carved out for each of us with those that have mattered the most. For the little one that means playdates or a last chance with a babysitter. For J there is a poker party planned. I have some individual or small group gatherings happening. For our family we have time with other families. Some of these times have happened and some are yet to come, but I think we have the most important ones on the calendar with some flexibility for a bit of spontaneity.
The cupboards are getting cleaned out, the rest of the menus have been planned (and the shopping list is VERY short!) Stuff is being sorted; things to ship, things to take with us, things to sell, things to donate, and things to put in the dumpster. The end of the school year is happening and all that comes with it. While all of those things are important, taking the time to truly leave well is more important in the long run. We have to acknowledge that our time here was important, that people and memories matter. Those of us that live this life know how small the planet is and there are people we know we will see again, we just can't tell you where or when.
I am not a person big on good-byes. Knowing this it is even more important for me to be sure to carve out the bits of time for people, rather than just skip out of town in the middle of the night. (Though we will do that too!) I am thankful that others are willing to make time with us in the midst of their own crazy lives. I hope those friends that we won't be a regular part of our lives (at least for the near future) know that they have touched us, are valued, and will be remembered.