I can handle when something is over, but saying goodbye stinks. Last night, we drove Maddie to the airport to return to Scotland. (Here I am being brave at the airport.) We might see her this summer, or it might be the end of the year. Or…well, who knows? Her missionary life is erratic.
I am mostly OK with this. I want her to do what she feels called to do. I want her to do good things in the world. I want her to be independent. She is doing all of those things.
But when I’m hugging her goodbye at the airport, I just want her to not leave. There. I said it. In that moment, I am just sad that she is leaving.
I have a poem in progress called “Without,” and it opens:
Without plunging, a waterfall is only a river
Praise the falling, the walling, the surprise of water standing on end
So, I guess I have to embrace the falling and walling of airport goodbyes to enjoy the beauty and excitement of the waterfall.
And I was listening to Mo Willems on The Yarn (love that podcast!), and he talks about ending the Elephant and Piggie books. Mo Willems is wise. I thought about Maddie and what she would NOT do if she stayed home in Minnesota right now. I thought about which books I would NOT write if I didn’t go through the experience of saying goodbye to Maddie.
And then I thought that this was enough thinking about goodbyes. So, I’m thinking about 2017 and all the exciting things coming up instead. That’s the best remedy I know for goodbyes:>)
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