“How lucky I am I have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” Winnie-the Pooh.
The first time I remember a “hard” goodbye was when my oldest brother, Dean, went to the Marine Corp directly out of high school. This brave seventeen-year-old man stood at the train depot with his two buddies ready to go to serve his country. Mom, Dad, my two other brothers, and I waved goodbye from behind the fence, and as the train departed, I cried my eyes out. Dean had been my “rock” brother—the one I leaned on and went to for support. Two years later I said goodbye to another older brother, Wayne, who after graduating from high school entered the Air Force, and I shed more tears. My youngest brother, Gary, followed suit and after high school entered the Navy. More tears.
Over a four-year period, I said goodbye to my Navy fiancé/husband more than I care to remember, and years later to my children as they left for college or got married and moved far away. When leaving my children, grandchildren, and ninety-six-year old mother, after the goodbye hugs and kisses, there are tears–especially when I don’t know when I’ll see them again.
But as Winnie-the Pooh says, I am fortunate to have people I love to say goodbye to.
Lord, make us grateful for the goodbyes and give us faith that we’ll get the opportunity to say goodbye again. Amen.