{ Saying Good-Bye }

This day has been looming over our heads for weeks. We have been trying to busy ourselves in the situation by lending out bedding and anything else we could to help the Johnson’s so we wouldn’t actually have to think about them leaving Georgia. Today was the last day of school for the kids, so we checked them out early and set out for one last hurrah with our friends before they left.

We headed out to IHOP for lunch, a nice safe place to overtake with our four adults and twelve kids, and settled in for some last minute talks and good laughs. We were hoping we would get Brittney our waitress who we always have who knows all our kids by name, but instead got another equally talented waitress. She memorized all our orders, no pen and paper for this gal, and managed to deliver them all to the right people and all perfect. There’s some IHOP talent.

Austin and Ryan IHOP blogRyan and Austin

Brianna and Katie IHOP blogKatie and Brianna

Brooke and Emily IHOP blogBrooke and Emily

Erika and Abby and Megan IHOP blogAbby, Erika, and Megan

Monae and Lisa IHOP blogMonae and Lisa

     Afterwards, we let the kids say good-bye outside and took our last pictures together for a couple of years. It was so interesting to see how they all were taking it.

Brianna-sad, but trying to be brave and hide her tears.

Austin-“Must climb something, must climb something! Oh, here’s a wall, I can climb this, yeah, that will make me feel better”

Brooke-concerned about getting her report card treat at the store.Yes, a girl after my own heart-denial and shopping, that will make us feel better.

Erika-sad and wanted to keep hugging Megan.

Abby-sad, but not really understanding where Germany is anyways, and then getting more confused when the kids talk about the Johnsons going to Utah first. Too much for a four year old to take in.

Scott-ready for his nap, wants his binkie in the picture, wants to try to grab and terrorize Matthew one last time before he leaves the country.

All kids IHOP blog

All 12 of our kids!

I ran the kids back home where Brianna watched them until the piano teacher came and helped watch them for awhile, while Aaron headed over to their house to start loading up the luggage. When I got back to their house it was very weird to walk through their house it being completely empty. Oh, how we will miss you Johnson family.

The drive up Aaron and I talked, mostly about non-Johnson topics for fear that tears would start rolling-from me mostly. At the airport is when reality starts to hit. Why is saying good-bye so hard! Because it means we love our friends so deeply, and that’s a good thing. We have never lived close to family, so we have made our friends our family, and the Johnson’s have been no different. It will be a hard few years without them, but we can’t wait to hear of all their great adventures they will have while in Germany.

After dropping them off at the airport, Aaron headed home and I continued on to do a little shopping while in Atlanta. We don’t make it up there very often, especially since the temple is being renovated and not open, so a chance to go shopping was what I needed to take my mind off of things.

Of course, as soon as I pulled out of the airport terminal I started crying so that didn’t help much to take my mind off of things. As I sat driving and reflecting on what fun times we have had with them, a thought came to my mind that hadn’t before. One of the hard things to think about was our plans to build a house just behind the Johnson’s, and all the fun we would have with them. It suddenly struck me how much harder it would have been to say good-bye had we already been in our house and had shared even more special times with them. Our house not selling, and our new house not being built was maybe just a tender mercy from the Lord in sparing our precious feelings. Thank you  Heavenly Father for helping me keep perspective when sometimes not fun things have to occur. Lemons into lemon aid-His specialty.

      Starbuck Family IHOP blog    The Starbuck Family 2010Johnson Family IHOP blog

      The Johnson Family 2010


Dre + Drew - Midwest Living - Iowa City said...

What a great post!!!

Lisa said...

Ah, yes. What a sad day. Thanks again for everything... so much help, so much friendship, so many good talks, such good examples. Can't wait to take pictures together again in Germany!!