Here and gone for a month or so and now back here again. Spending precious time with all the grandkids and loving every minute while despising the goodbyes. Again. Looking forward to the day when goodbyes will no longer be necessary because there will no longer be the need to verbalize or express those sometimes bittersweet, sorrowful farewells. Why? We’ll be home.
The thing about goodbyes though? You have to have extended a hello. Although goodbyes can be excruciating, as you’re left wondering when the next hello may be, you must extend a hello to have a goodbye and the hellos can be glorious.
For example, after the house became quiet from all the grandkids heading back home – deafeningly quiet – I began to feel the loss again. The separation. The emptiness of once having them here constantly to them now being a very long day’s drive away. I am not complaining (at least I hope I’m not). But oh. How this Grammy’s heart aches often over having to have said goodbye yet again. But, wasn’t it me who spoke up and said not too many minutes ago, that we can’t say goodbye unless we have first said hello?
I sometimes can get so consumed with what I had to let go of that I often cannot see what I had then or have now. The kids are gone but they were here. Their laughter filled the rooms, dearly loved books were given more love at ‘sleeping’ times and beyond. Dripping I ce cream made trails down sun-browned skin as they tried to lick it faster than it melted. Cold water became our best friend as we swam at the pool and ran through Summer sprinklers.
Winnie the Pooh once said to Piglet (or perhaps it was Piglet to Pooh), “How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Beyond lucky. Blessed.
How blessed I am to have someone – many someone’s – that makes saying goodbye so hard.
Yes. That‘s it. Focusing on what I have or have had – the hellos and what they held – and not on what I don’t have now and having had to say goodbye.
God knows our pain as moms and Dads, Grandpas and Grammies. And sometimes, He lets those we love most, in on it, too.
My daughter unexpectedly showed up last Friday evening. I don’t think I have ever been so surprised and shocked and excited all at once! When I asked her later what prompted her to come (as she lives in Southern California, I am in Southern Oregon and, I had seen her just two weeks prior), she said that we never really got to visit the two weeks prior and she wanted to spend some time with just me!
I cannot begin to tell you how that made me feel but I am sure some of you can surely relate. After she was there a day, in the back of my head I hear a whisper…
You’re going to have to say goodbye.
Dread creeps in. Desperation. All emotions of one who has it all backwards. It’s not the goodbyes I should focus on, but the glorious hellos.