Archive for May 14th, 2009

Saying Goodbye


I was driving to the post office and bank one day, running errands and found myself pouring M&Ms into my mouth from a 21 oz bag. It’s not that I overeat, but I find sustinance in M&Ms for breakfast some days. Sometimes it is just a pot of coffee. Sometimes yogurt and fruit. Eating chocolate for breakfast is often a sign of being off balance.

That was about six months ago and J had just left for the island gigs. I was so so so sad, sadder than I let on. I got used to it, in a sad and lonely sort of numbing way. With trips and visits to look forward to, I kept plugging away at things. 

In the very beginning of our relationship, J was local half of the time. He was here for four days and then up north for the rest of the week. Knowing he was coming back each week for a few days at a time had been a luxury for me, but the season here was ending for him so we made our time together as we could.

So, today, I was thinking about how all our lives, we are saying goodbye.

We say goodbye, as often as we say hello.

I said goodbye when school ended every year for the summer. I said goodbye to my beach friends when I went back to school in the Fall. I said goodbye to to folks when I graduated highschool and moved to the midwest. Likewise for the end of college. I’ve said goodbye to my parents when I left home, for any period of time (but gladly happy to escape into a world of adulthood and independence). I’ve said goodbye to boyfriends, some gladly, and some sadly.I never said goodbye to the girls’ dad, because, well, I just can’t be rid of him, since he is still their dad.

I’ve crossed paths with great people who’s lives haven’t aligned with mine, where the significance of separating was greater than if we’d actually known each other better, longer.

I said goodbye to my grandparents who no longer grace this world with their sweet smiles, and some friends, who died too young or tragically or peacefully.

I say goodbye to my children, often enough and what seems like too much, when they leave to go to their father’s house. 

In fact, I say goodbye when I take them to school every morning. One stands at my side until the bell rings and prolongs her farewell. The other gives a little air kiss and runs off to see her friends.

Sending J off for his whirlwind of gigs felt more like a “see you later,” because for once, I felt pretty darn secure with someone leaving. Don’t get me wrong, though, I’ve had my moments. When it felt like he’d never be home. But I knew he would be. And deep down (and way out in front) I knew he wanted to be back home with me, with us.

I was talking to my friend D early on in J’s departure, and he said to me, quite clearly, “isn’t it better to be with someone who you trust and feel secure with, even if they go away, than feel unsafe and distrustful with someone who is near?” And he ended with “Use that time for yourself.”

And by golly, I did.

My friend, Jen, emailed me months ago, after I had a little email “freakout” (to her) about him being gone. One of those “I have no idea what will happen and suddenly I am thinking about this too hard.”

And my brilliant friend said this: 

“Oh sister, you are kinda having a meltdown on the this subject–that sucks and I know it feels scary and crappy and all that stuff mixed up.  It’s tough when you start out a relationship with someone who already has his life planned out (at least for the next several months) you want him to be able to drop everything and just poof! be with you and relocate and all that good stuff. I have a quote in my office shelf that I think about often. My minister once said to me, “God’s delays are not god’s denials.”  When things don’t work out the way we want them to, the moment we want them to, we doubt ourselves, our partner and the whole she-bang. But as tough as this next several months may be, you will blossom and grow in new ways as a person, a mom and a partner. There is plenty of wonderful time when the two of you will be together. Just try and be patient.”

And then she ended with, “Love is like water, it flows where it’s needed. He needs you and loves you and rest assured that all is well.”


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