So Long New York…

Pamela Brown-Peterside Uncategorized 4 Comments

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I flew into JFK 26 years ago this month from London with 2 suitcases. Tonight I fly out of JFK and back to London. I take another 2 suitcases (+ 22 boxes that are on a ship somewhere in the middle of the Atlantic).

I leave behind a varied and rich tapestry of friends and neighbors. Incredibly, some of these dear people I’ve known for practically all of my time here, others for a decade or more, and then others I’ve only known a few months. Many friendships were formed and deepened through my tenure at Redeemer Presbyterian Church, first as a timid church goer 18 years ago, and more recently as a staff member for the past 8 years. Others developed in the different tennis leagues I played hard in and those folks generally didn’t know anything about the work I did and it didn’t matter. And with others, relationships developed at Uptown Writers and in the writing groups I joined as we critiqued each others’ pieces and encouraged one another with our craft.

I will deeply miss this web of extraordinary people who I’ve had the honor and privilege of knowing & walking beside.( But am so grateful for the world-wide web and the wonders of technology that will allow many connections to continue, albeit in new forms.)

There are other significant losses too.

I’m grieving having to leave my apartment – though grateful for new friends who will be moving in here. I’ll miss living in my building with the 24 hour security guards, a crew of hard-working folks who don’t make a whole lot of money but who always made me feel welcome especially at the end of weary days. I’ll miss the neighbors on my floor, particularly 90-year-old P. She and I wept together last night as we said goodbye and she articulated what I didn’t have the courage to say: “I’m sad because may not see you again.” Perhaps not in this life, I reminded her, but in the next one, where God is waiting for us both. I’m sad that daily walks in the spectacular Ft Tryon Park won’t be possible anymore. And I’m already missing Redeemer’s worship services, and the incredible classical concerts we’d hear following the benediction every Sunday morning with some of the most accomplished musicians this city has to offer.

Yes I’ve been extraordinarily blessed here in this city that never sleeps. I have found places and spaces of deep rest here over the last quarter century and for that I am eternally grateful.  As I result, I leave this city a little wiser (and with a head of grey hair to show for it!), but more humble, more joyful, more hopeful, and more courageous. And with a deep sense of how Loved I am.

I’m moving to live with my mother for the final stages of her life to show her how loved she is. She is hugely excited –a confirmation that this time has fully come.

So long New York. A new adventure across the sea beckons.

May God be with you ’til we meet again.

Pamela Brown-PetersideSo Long New York…

Comments 4

  1. Mary Li Hsu

    Today you were mightily on my mind and prayed for you, not knowing if you had already crossed the pond. Have been praying for your transition and have also told God and others how much I will miss your guidance and support. A few taps on the computer led me to this blog and I see you are leaving NYC today…may be on the plane this very minute! Pamela, know that you have been a huge blessing to me and to many others. In our interactions, you have reminded me to keep my eyes on him while providing practical counsel.

    Gottspeit, sister

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      Pamela Brown-Peterside

      Thank you so much! Sensed God’s favor all through the transition. Wonderful goodbyes with neighborhoods in the building & neighborhood . Dear friends accompanied me to the airport. Grace @ check-in with not having to pay for my overweight suitcase. And then a spectacular rainbow – a reminder that our God is a personal, covenant-making, promise-keeping God. Beautiful! Glad to be here with Mum. So clear already today that this was the right time to come. Am buoyed by prayer and the love of so many. Grateful.

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      Pamela Brown-Peterside

      Thanks Lon, am just seeing this today. Obviously not keeping up with my blog v much @ the moment. Hope you’re having a good tennis season. Few indoor courts here so am not playing hardly at all. Hope that will change in the spring.

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