I don't say goodbye. Actually, I do. But it's always followed by, see you later, see you soon, see ya. You get the picture.
It started the year I was fourteen. We had just returned from a trip to see my sister in college. Both my sisters share a birthday. This was the first year they would be apart and it was my middle sister's 16th. As a surprise we drove to Michigan with several of their friends and partied at the dorm. Well, good girl style partying. One of the friend who went on that trip with us didn't like to say goodbye. He always said, "see you later." Which is what we said that cold night in the driveway all our friends taking off in their various directions.
A week later, David died. It has always stuck with me that my last words to him were not goodbye, but "see you later." It's true. I will see him "later." Not the later in the year I expected, but I am certain I will see him again.
This past week I've said many of my "see you laters" someone I love very much. Mom #2 was only home from the hospital two days before she began to become very ill again. This time we are honoring her wishes to stay out of the hospital. Our earthly time with her is short. I don't want my last words to her to be goodbye.
I'll see you again.
Over and over I say those words knowing them to be true. Refusing to grieve as one who has no hope. Gosh, I wish that was as easy to do as it is to write.
This past week, I have sat by the bed of a woman I love listening to every breath get slower. This week I have been blessed by an unexpected burst of "health" that allowed me to have a fun chat with a woman I love. This week I watched as my 18 month old daughter tried to get Grandma to wake from her coma by covering her eyes and saying, "Boo. Boo. Boo." She didn't know why Grandma didn't play the only game they have ever played together. This week, I held my boy as he sobbed. The week I listened to my little girl weep in her daddy's arms. Tears that could not be comforted. I have watched a mother say goodbye, and a daddy choke back tears. I have watched a husband mourn and sons stand by with grief to deep for words or tears.
Along with being sad, I'm jealous. Mom is going to a place where tears are no more. She's going to run, dance and laugh with abandon. She's going to see her loved ones and know as she is known. Tonight I asked what song she wanted at her "party."
The Old Rugged Cross.
Over 25 years of Multiple Sclerosis has not taken her joy. Fourteen years with out walking didn't steal her laughter. Nothing has stolen her smile. She's always been beautiful, soon she will be radiant.
"And I'll cherish the old rugged cross
'Till my trophies at last I lay down.
I will cling to the old rugged cross
And exchange them someday for a crown."
Love you, Mom. I'll see you soon.