Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Goodbyes Suck

"Why can't we get all the people together in the world that we really like
and then just stay together?
I guess that wouldn't work.
Someone would leave. Someone always leaves.
Then we would have to say good-bye.
I hate goodbyes.
I know what I need.
I need more hellos."

Elton John sings that "sorry seems to be the hardest word." But I think he's wrong. I think the hardest word to say is "goodbye."

This morning, after a week that seemed like it had less than the optimal 7 days, I took my big sister to the airport so she could fly back to Washington. I don't know how many miles it is between Washington and Florida but I know the distance between sisters is way too big. Oh sure, we have cell phones and Internet access, but tell me, is there anything better than sitting knee to knee, sharing iced teas and life stories?

As we stood on the sidewalk, shivering in the record-breaking autumnal morning chill, we hugged - the kind of hug that says,"thanks for coming; thanks for caring; thanks for all your support." And, "you're a great sister and I'm missing you already." An I-know-everything-will-be okay-but-it-will-be-so-much-okayer-if-you-could-just-stay" kind of hug.

Sometimes it feels like I've spent my whole life hugging people I love and saying goodbye. I've stood pierside as an aircraft carrier lined with sailors left homeport for six months. At one time or another, I've said farewell to my husband, my children, my parents, my sisters, and long-time friends. I've held furry friends as they drew their last breath, and I've said final goodbyes to more people than I'd like to count.

Funny how every new goodbye conjures up memories of all the old ones; after awhile they all weigh heavy on my shoulders. I spent the day trying to catch up on a couple hours sleep, feeling sad, leaden. But I'm also feeling grateful for my sister's visit, glad for any time we could spend together. While she was here, there was an ever so slight, but still noticeable, lessening of my caregiving burden. Linda dad-sat so my sweetie and I could have a night away. And, like an invigorating tonic, my beloved sister pumped up my sagging countenance with her unceasing affection and support.

It's time for me to go to bed. I think my sister is probably just getting home. It's been a long day for both of us. At least I didn't have to eat stale peanuts (assuming, of course, that airlines still serve peanuts!)

Merry ME


Sorrow said...

Yep, i think Good bye is the one that wins.
No matter for how long or short it reeks havok with my heart and tear ducts.
My sister and i never say "goodbye" we always say " chuce" which means " until we are together again" and it helps..
a little.

Merry ME said...

My tear ducts have stayed pretty inactive until now. I feel a big boohoo coming on!

Chuce - I like that. Thanks for sharing it!

Anonymous said...

I am increasingly aware that it is that hug that gets us through the every day care giving...and allows us to know that we really are not alone.
I wish you well....

Anonymous said...

Tears, are the drops that give growth to all things beautiful. You are BEAUTIFUL.