I don't know about you, but I have a hard time saying good-bye.
Maybe it all began when, as a young college freshman, I hugged my parents good-bye with that churning in the pit of my stomach and an ache in my throat. For Christmas break, the much-anticipated plane ride home came with a return ticket. I thought I'd die as my hometown grew smaller and smaller and soon slipped out of sight.
Then my sister and her family became missionaries to Africa. Africa! Every three or four years, we said good-bye, knowing it would be a long time before we saw each other again. At the end of our annual family reunions, I've always needed Kleenex. One by one, our two oldest daughters moved away. A good friend recently relocated half way across the country.
So maybe this all adds up to how I felt when I said good-bye to my oldest daughter this morning. Hard times brought her back home six months ago - with her little son and Cairn Terrier. We adjusted rather well to having a two year old in the house again! We enjoyed his antics and played Hide and Seek over and over. Everyday he learned a new word or skill. "Gampa," "Gamma," and Aunt "B'lee" quickly became part of his daily routines.
Our daughter and I worked together in the kitchen, researching and trying new recipes. She became our IT expert when we ran into computer glitches. She helped out over and above when my mom passed away and when my dad underwent open heart surgery. I'll always remember these months as a sweet time.
This morning, loaded to the hilt with belongings, the dog, and our grandson, she headed south (not too far from her sister. Maybe we'll see them both more often!). My husband accompanied her with a u-haul van. A good job for our son-in-law will bring the threesome together again. Better times ahead. I'm grateful. But, oh, I will miss them.
I will miss her smile and laughter, her researched health wisdom, and our shopping trips to Wegman's. I will miss a little boy's running footsteps first thing in the morning, a little hand leading me to see his latest discovery, and our post-supper song fests after finding his way onto my lap as his mom washed up the dishes. The house will seem quiet once again.
Maybe quiet has its place . . . time to refocus, reorganize, reflect . . .
I'm grateful for lots of wonderful memories and the promise to keep in touch. But the good-bye part of the story? Predictably tearful!
How do you feel about saying "good-bye"?