Exit: The Tralee Three
I've actually never felt so much pain looking at the subject line of an email before!
Well folks, the time has come "to sit and talk of cabbages and kings. Of why the sea is boiling hot and whether pigs have wings.”
Ok maybe it's not THAT time (Sorry Lewis Carroll) but the time has come for the Tralee Three to scatter like the tribes of Israel to their new respective corners of Ireland.
We had a beautiful final 3 days together, I blew some kisses across the Atlantic Ocean for my family for the last time in a while, we gallivanted up to Limerick one morning for District Council (the first in 4 months!), aaaaand we drove around Tralee blasting our favorite Christian songs and bawled our eyes out together! The embarrassing part about that is that I was driving, and when we were TWO BLOCKS AWAY I had no idea how to get home because I'd never seen that part of Tralee before.
IT'S A SMALL PLACE. I have no excuses. Except maybe this pandemic thing that happened while I was there.
But hey! I have the round a bout outside our window memorized down to the brickwork! And we made history this week! One of our dear friend's dear friends passed away, so we went to support her at the funeral. It was held at the Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception (email me if you wanna know what that means, Robert the Sunday School Teacher™️ told us! It's fascinating stuff...)
Really all I have to say about that is that I don't want a Catholic funeral please, the old ladies were looking at me funny because I wasn't doing the Hail Mary's with them (???). It was a good experience for the books if nothing else.
The funeral made Traleean history according to the priest because it is the first COVID-19 funeral that has been held in that church!
The historical part for ME was being part of the funeral procession. We all stood behind the hearse and then just...started walking.
To the graveyard.
In the rain, all wearing black,
JUST WALKING DOWN ONE OF THE BUSIEST STREETS IN TRALEE.
All the cars stopped until we passed. Even if they were travelling the opposite direction. The moms with the strollers stopped, the guy walking his dog stopped, the whole world stopped until the hearse was behind them. Then they'd throw out a Hail Mary and continue on their merry little way.
And it felt like the whole of Tralee was stopping to say goodbye! Obviously it was NOT about us, but the whole thing almost seemed to whisper “Goodbye for now! God be will you til we meet again. Thanks for coming!”
It was a magical moment, one that contributed to the closure I desperately needed for my time here.
But as Dumbledore would say, “To a well organized mind, Dublin is but the next great adventure.”
My mind may have no method to its madness, and there's certainly nothing organizational about my packing, but hey!
To Dublin we go! And so we went!
A day earlier than expected, but in God's timing none the less. It broke my heart to say goodbye to Jason, and Joseph, and Ollie and Geraldine and Annika and the plethera of other kindred souls I left behind in Tralee, but hey! The time was right. Please pray for their baptisms!
Now I'm in Dublin. A beautiful city, all the rolling hills and misty “mountains” of Tralee have been replaced with cathedrals and mightly metropolis landscapes but God is still here and there's really no place I'd rather be.
Ya know why?
THERE ARE 2 GIANT CRANES OUTSIDE MY WINDOW THAT I GET TO WATCH ALL DAY. Like, the construction kind! I LOVE CONSTRUCTION!
Oh yeah, and also because I prayed about it, and feel so much peace about being here.
I'm excited to continue serving the Lord and the sisters here in Ireland in new ways and old ways!
The health store under our flat has my favorite coconut milk, God bless America, and we sleep with the balcony door open and get to listen to the sounds of the city (including the drunk people) as we fall asleep.
God is still here.
And he has been BUSY preparing people to be taught, let me tell you!
I'm so grateful to be in this corner of His vineyard today! Tomorrow! Hopefully the next day! And for at least a few months after that! Fingers crossed!
My dear friends, God hasn't forgotten you and I haven't either! Please write to me, but if you only have time to talk to either God or me, say your prayers first! And I'll see you in like 8 months!
Me being a cone during our run in Phoenix Park
Us celebrating the 4th of July by dumping tea into the River Liffey
Us celebrating the 4th of July by taking a huge bite out of the mexican food my mom sent us (the most american thing ever let's be real)
A farewell at the bus station! Complete with kazoo.
PS. I FOUND LIKE 12 MORE KAZOOS THAT MATCH THE ONE I FOUND IN TRALEE IN MY NEW FLAT. NO JOKE.