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Friday, October 14, 2011

Leaving Day! Ending a chapter & starting our new 1.

24 hours of Lasts & firsts!
Jared took me to Cards game last nite, last time to watch a game at Busch stadium, at least for awhile.
Last time to see Albert Pujols at Busch, for me seeing him in the birds on the bat uniform.
Last time to go to our favorite Cracker Barrel for BF. Had our 3 boys join us, and Jared's wife Stacey, and Jeremy's wife Miranda. Plus Jordan. So was very nice. Visited with Janine & her boys this morning before they got off to school & work. With having to adjust our departure schedule to accommodate  my knees getting sore after sitting for awhile, we needed to add extra driving day in to reach Laredo, Tx, to rendezvous with the Lipperds. So I had to be sure to get to see them for last time for a bit.
When you see your kids when you know there is not a tomorrow left to enjoy them, it is hard. But I thought of when Jehovah had to send his son to do a job here on earth, and while not comparable in importance, it is in a parent not wanting to be apart from his children, so Jehovah knows what is in our hearts too. hopefully we can help some people wanting to learn of a better future for their kids & themselves, and we can teach them about that hope. What a privilege that will be. So our kids know that is our motive, and they made our decision easier by also wanting that for these strangers they don't know, may never meet, but hope will listen & want to learn of Jehovah & his promise of a future much different than what man faces today.
Last- time loading our Blazer up for the trip to Mexico.- Sure glad we had Ralph put on the overload springs, since somehow Elaine squeezed in a few more items. My experience working as a teamster came in handy. Loading semi-trailers- you put as much freight in trailer as you could- the phrase was,"high & tight". Certainly applies, if you saw the pics of Blazer.
Firsts- leaving for mexico- to retire & serve there.- what will it be like? will we enjoy it right off the bat, or learn to adjust, adapt, and appreciate? How does the congregation go about things? How do they work the territory, in finding english speaking ones? Do you go door to door, or canvass, asking people you meet if they know of english speaking persons?
There will be much to learn- on so many levels. Learning to be retired. I still find myself looking at my jobsites on internet, to see if anyone needs a welding inspector. Old habits........
Firsts- disconnecting to instant news, phones, 24/7 onslaught of the senses in the ultra-modern world of St. Louis.
Firsts- the weather in Dolores Hildago- supposed to be dry there for months at a time! Will there be any green??????? From Missouri, where there is green everywhere to maybe no green for months??
I know when we took a vacation out west when the kids were young, and we came back from Calif, Ariz, NM, Texas, okla. were we ever happy to see Joplin, Mo and some trees, even if they seemed stunted! Is the weather & climate what they call high desert? brown, dry, and dusty? Thats is what I'm preparing myself for.
Lasts- our wonderful brothers in O'fallon, Mo cong. Large 150+ publishers, with many high quality sisters & brothers who comments were so well prepared- that many times you don't want to raise your hand, because someone much more interesting could comment with a wealth of research, and depth of understanding. The closeness of our service group. Where your group knows that you need a break, and makes sure you get one. Being able to listen to a large body of elders (15) handle parts, take the lead, and shepherd the flock, while sharing the load. Not sure if we will ever be in a cong that large again. Due to our schedule being changed, we missed out in one last goodbye party with them, but probably a good thing, because like family, you grow so close to them, and know of there individual qualities, pains, worries, strengths, and circumstances. You are part of the fabric of the congregation, so it feels like a tearing of that fabric, when thinking about leaving some older ones that you may not get to see again, because of systems god, and sickness. But you draw encouragement as you see them endure their trials, as they make the meetings, FS, and despite their age carry on as Heb. 6:9,10 says- where Jehovah knows of their past efforts and remembers their deeds of love for him. He doesn't forget, and we won't either.
So our journey has really begun! After 2 years of preparation, planning, testing, putting our trust in Jehovah to sell our house. Elaines superwoman efforts to simplify, and let all her furnishings, shoes (big one there) jewelry, go into storage, sell, give away, etc. We are on the initial leg of the trip/adventure.
Your Brothers
Tom & Elaine

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