Posts Tagged With: goodbye

“Goodbye to Yesterday”

Friday Letter to my Kids  -August 29, 2014-

Dear J, J, L and L,

I hate goodbyes.

Doesn’t matter what kind. Short, long-term, temporary, indefinite. They all bite. Some goodbyes leave a gaping wound that take what feels like forever to heal. Others keep hurting even after all evidence of injury disappears.

I’ve had my fill of goodbyes, but that doesn’t mean I don’t keep getting another serving glopped on my plate. Whatever. Let’s shift gears a little. Here’s a song to start off my thoughts today.

Your Dad started traveling for work back when you were just tiny things. In fact his first stint away from home occurred when Big J was only three months old. We’re not talking a week away. Month’s after saying “see ya later” I finally saw him again, around Christmas time. He’d grown this full-on hideous beard that looked like he’d been standing in the wind for too long, all growing to one side. Then he had to go again, and again and again.

You’d think I’d have gotten used to goodbyes. He’d be gone for weeks. Or months. Or just a few days. But every time carried its share of empty yuck, sadness and loneliness. Even just last year when he drove off for Sacramento, I felt a part of me drop away and sink to the floor in wracking sobs, as the physical part of me stood there waving cheerfully.

Oh sure, I learned independence and self-reliance. My coping muscles as a semi-single parent surely rippled with six-pack abs and bulging biceps. Hahahaha, there’s an odd image for you, huh?

Why do I bring this up?

One of you says “adios” to your spouse today for three months. My heart aches for you. I may not feel your pain, but I remember all too clearly what mine felt like. Knowing you feel something like that makes me hurt for you and with you. It’s a mom thing, I suppose.

You’ll do fine. You’ll rock this challenge. You’ll find strength you didn’t know you had. Sure, there will be long nights, long days, emptiness and exhaustion, but you’ll be okay. I promise.

Another one of you is the one who leaves on those long business trips. That can’t be easy. I have no idea how it must feel stuck in a boring hotel room night after night, to be the one in another city away from your sweetheart. How you both manage without each other boggles my mind, especially since it’s been this way since a month or two into your marriage.

Bronze figures, Fleetwood, Lancs. Photo By P Smith (Own work) [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html)

Bronze figures, Fleetwood, Lancs. Photo By P Smith (Own work)  http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html

Add in that this weekend I’m helping another one of you pack up for your big move out-of-state. I try not to think about when I’ll have to say goodbye to you in a few more days. I’m happy beyond reason for your new adventures, but so sad to know you won’t be at our table on random evenings, won’t be playing “Settlers” with us, may not make it back for holidays for a while. I’ll miss our random lunch dates and having you hang out on the couch for mom time. I don’t even know when I’ll see you next in real life. I’m trying not to think about it.

Yesterday I got this sweet video text that brought one of your lives smack dab into the middle of my living room. Just for a few moments the distance between here and where you are shrunk to almost nothing. But then, I found my arms aching for holding, my chest pounding for a hug, my need for immediate access to an airplane like a drug addiction withdrawal. No matter how long you live far away I don’t get used to it. I still miss you every single day.

Thank goodness for the internet and social media. Back when Dad first started traveling that stuff hadn’t evolved yet. We racked up huge long distance phone bills, mailed handwritten letters. Weird to imagine now.

Lucky you with your skyping, texting, Facebook, instant messaging and email. Lucky me, since I can utilize those things to stay in touch with each of you as well. Makes the world smaller and goodbyes more manageable.

Buddhist prayer beads By Аркадий Зарубин (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Buddhist prayer beads By Аркадий Зарубин (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)%5D

I’m praying for each one of you. Not that there’s anything new there. My heart has this sort of constant litany of recitations for your safety, your happiness, your health. You are all, each of you, always on my mind. I always miss you, wonder about you, wish the best for you. That’s true even if you’re only a couple of miles away, and certainly when you’re hundred of miles or more in the distance.

The word goodbye has its origins in the phrase “God be with you,” and serves as a contraction, a shortened version of that blessing. When I say Goodbye, often that’s what I’m really feeling. God be with you carries more power and serves as a kind of incantation or benediction over the leave-taking. You’d think I’d gone stark raving nuts if I started saying “God be with you,” so I’ll just quietly think those words in my head as my mouth says a regular goodbye. How does that sound?

Sure they cut those umbilical cords ages ago. And certainly the apron strings also severed years back. But heart-strings remain attached forever no matter what you do or how far you go.

God be with you in whatever life offers you this week and beyond.

All my love,

Mom

"Bluebird of Happymess"

“Bluebird of Happymess”

 

 ~~~~~

“Remember me and smile, for it’s better to forget than to remember me and cry.” ~ Dr. Seuss

 

 

 

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Categories: Family, Friday Letters, Love | Tags: , , , , , , | 5 Comments

The Odd Ways We Say Goodbye

Everything drips with symbolism lately.

photo 2-1 copy 5

Whether shiny, sparkly or pale the gold looked stunning next to green boughs.

I’ve undecorated the tree this afternoon. It’s time to let go. In fact, it’s past time. The needles are dropping faster, brownish tan slowly outshines the evergreen color. Sure, in a certain light, night-time,with just the small twinkle lights on, it looks vibrant and adds such ambience to the room. But in reality, a fire hazard stands in the living room.

When we first became acquainted, this tree sent its voluptuous pine scent wafting about the entire house. I thought it seemed happy here. But truly, it was simply on its last few weeks of a life spent outdoors, gazing at the stars, tucked in under the snow, basking in the sun, drenched in the rain. Then it found its life cut short and quickly waning. For a brief span of time it glowed and sparkled with beauty and light and life, its last bit of energy expended giving joy and lifting hearts.

photo 1 copy 5

A well-lived life draws to a close.

But now, fully spent, its time has come to move on. Perhaps a few of her needles will become part of the mulch that nurtures next autumns flowers into a radiant bloom. Perhaps a chill night will be brightened and warmed by her last few embers. Perhaps in years to come a photo of a decorated tree, fallen over with the weight of too many ornaments and not enough balance, will lighten the heart of an aged woman. Or another photo of that same tree redecorated and standing proud and straight with a sweet smiling man at her side will bring cheer into a grandchild’s mind.

This sweet Christmas tree oversaw a bittersweet holiday.  It did its job with honor and aplomb. If there were medals awarded for Christmas tree service above and beyond the call of duty, this tree would have earned and worn an extras star of honor.

Now a small brass angel oversees the last of the boxing up of the gold and white bulbs, the untangling of the white lights from the branches. Tonight that tree will look up at the stars once again and dream.

photo 4 copy 2

A few baubles waiting to get boxed up for another year.

Tonight, my living room will feel empty. I’ll walk in and feel lost knowing something important is missing. The empty spot will continue feeling empty regardless of the rearranging of furniture or placing of photos and lamps.

Now you see that I’m a silly, melodramatic woman, with far too much time for thinking and not enough to keep my mind and hands occupied.

I keep saying goodbye in such odd ways.

Maybe this year, this new set of twelve months, will be spent doing just that.

Categories: Death, Holiday, Memory Lane, Relationships, Wondering | Tags: , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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