I watched as he made his way through the departure hall, had his passport checked and stamped, and felt a sense of emptiness when i saw him turn around to give his cheery wave and then disappear into the bowels of the airport. It looked as if the whole platoon of us had just lost our "tour guide", who was all decked out in his happy green printed shirt. But the mood was far from happy... because this dear cell mate and brother that we got to know and befriend was leaving us for Brunei for good. "For good", in the sense that he is done with his education here and is pretty much "staying put in his home country Brunei".
It hurts to see him and his girlfriend (who left about a month ago) leave us especially after getting to know them better when they first came to join the NTU cell around about a year plus ago. They've become so much a part of us, sharing the same identity and having quite distinct roles in the cell group. I might not feel the full brunt of the loss right now, but i guess when we return to the cell setting in our familiar room in block 6C, i'll probably feel the void more. Still, i know that we'll all pull through, and life goes on.
But i guess, i rejoice to know that God had a reason/reasons in His plan for them when they were brought to Singapore, and as a cell we release them with love. Yet we know that we're still bonded by our friendship and by the body of Christ. We've seen how they've transformed: the same person but leaving with a different spirit and heart. Thank God.
Guess we'll just need to get used to not seeing their faces and feeling their presence with us, though we can still poke them on MSN. :-)
One thing about the NTU cell is that we somehow tend to pick up? attract? students from all walks and integrate them into our friendly and accepting "family", which is probably why it's so large. But because of this teary farewell we had yesterday... we were just joking that we should now make a new rule... No more exchange students, and that the cell will only allow Singaporean citizens and PRs so that we'll not have to go through another heartache. Heehee. But of course, we're just kidding. :-P
Own private issues (many, many), academic issues, and family issues... Ah, this week hasn't been easy.
I don't know when the last time was when i broke down from stress like that. I'm sorry i gave you such a fright.