One week, six days.
The count down to our last day of teaching and to leaving Korea has been going on for sometime now. The prospect of a new adventure and a change of pace filled me with excitement at first. As the days passed on, that excitement turned into disbelief. Could we really be leaving this life we have here? Then, the eminent departure of our good friend temporarily turned disbelief into panic. We still had so much to do before we too took off. Bit by bit the panic decreased and I returned to disbelief.
Now my heart is heavy. My fingers ache slightly and my eyes keep wandering over to the sixty envelopes sitting on the bed. Sixty goodbye notes for my students. Sixty little hugs pressed onto pieces of paper. Sixty small letters of love. Sixty pieces of my heart I am leaving behind.
It wasn’t until my pen was moving across those notes that reality really sunk in. We are leaving. Leaving behind the city we’ve come to call home. Leaving behind the first place we lived together. Leaving behind the first year of our adult life. Leaving behind memories. But, most of all, we are leaving behind so many people who have added such love and joy to our lives.
I know the excitement will return. And, I know goodbyes are just the start of a new chapter. But tonight I need to live in this sea of loss so that I forever remember how much happiness those sixty kids have brought to my life.