Bittersweet parting and sweet new retirement chapter

Last Sunday was Jeff’s last time preaching as an installed of pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Battle Creek. For safety reasons, we met at a pavilion at Binder Park Zoo.

It was so wonderful to see so many people. This pandemic has been hard on so many people. 2020 was supposed to be a year of us getting together with friends we’ve made over the past 16 years living in Michigan, and having long, bittersweet goodbyes. The COVID-19 pandemic changed all that. WithPeople staying away from a group of people in a worship service because of the pandemic – even outdoors – and everyone else who came, wearing masks, Jeff wanted the photo directory to recall faces. A new one was planned this past spring to replace the 2013 directory. COVID-19 change that plan as well.

For me, it was like looking at faces pass on an Amtrak train. Goodbye. Goodbye. Wave. We’ll miss you so! Farewell. God bless.

Even some former neighbors (pre-Turkeyville) came to bid us farewell.

A tearful 16-year video created by Cathy L. What memories you all have given us. We also have a huge decorated album filled with cards and notes, along with a dozen or so given that day.

After service was a box lunch, but it was chilly enough that only a handful stayed to eat at the pavillion.

We are reading the cards a few at a time because it’s quite emotional for us. Sometimes I have to hand some to Jeff to read aloud because I’m too choked up. Thank you all so much for a wonderful send off and amazing friendships made over the past 16 years. We love you.

(Posted from our son’s house, where there is Internet.)