Saying Goodbye for the Last Time.
“There are certain queer times and occasions in this strange mixed affair we call life when a man takes this whole universe for a vast practical joke… prospects of sudden disaster, peril of life and limb; all these, and death itself, seem to him only sly, good-natured hits, and jolly punches in the side bestowed by the unseen and unaccountable old joker.” -Herman Melville, Moby Dick
There is nothing more significant than saying Goodbye.
Especially saying Goodbye for the last time.
As a little girl, I’m not sure I put much thought into what Goodbye means.
To me, every one always came back.
I grew up in a divorced family which simply means that I constantly had my travel bags packed and flittered from home to home every few days.
When I said goodbye to either of my parents, I would see them again in only a few days. I even had the privilege of being naturally very easily entertained.
No matter where I was, I was having the time of my life. Outgoing and talkative, I could find friends wherever I went… even if those friends were my stuffed animals.
So when did ‘goodbye’ begin to take on the sound of danger and doom and intense sorrow?
I would say the most significant goodbye I ever said was to my little brother Michael. I wasn’t anywhere near when the tragedy occurred. You have to understand, I am the BIG sister. I should have protected him… but I didn’t… the last time I seen him was as I shut the truck door on Christmas day… an expectant face. A jovial ‘Bye!’
The last time I would ever say ‘goodbye’ to my dear friend and little brother was on a hospital bed with only a breathing tube to keep his pulse beating.
We comfort ourselves saying ‘I will see you again before I know it. I will see you in Heaven.’ I completely believe I will see him there… but it’s also a battle. It’s a battle to believe that. Like most worthy endeavors in life, it is not easy; not in the slightest.
This goodbye led to years of sorrow and pain. That’s what they are… goodbyes are sorrow and pain.
Saying Goodbye to my high school sweetheart was definitely not an easy choice. Especially being that he was the one I turned to after my little brother passed. You never want to let go of all those good things you see. You never want to see what isn’t working or maybe never did.It is doubly painful when you made them your world. When you expected them to fulfill you.
All the times we broke up, I never thought it was over.
Then one day, I knew. In a short conversation, we had dispersed.
I said goodbye for the last time.
And I moved on. Always never easy. You have to learn to live alone again.
I had to learn who I was again. I had literally forgotten. Goodbye first love, we learned a lot.
This week, I said goodbye to my Grandma Watkins for the last time on this earth. I didn’t expect to feel what I felt. It was so much more painful than I thought it would be.
Grandma has been with me my entire life. She taught me to cook and to sew.
We made dresses for all my dolls and my Winnie-the-Pooh bedroom set. She even made me beautiful dresses for a good decade. I distinctly remember watching her chase my older brothers around the coffee table with a fly swatter.
She made the best Alphabet soup, Mashed Potatoes, and Corn. She introduced me to green beans covered in cheese.
She made me brush my hair 100 times a day as a girl. And she has always had something to say about my outfit choices.
She was a beautiful woman. I remember all the stories she would tell me of meeting my Grandpa Lawrence. They would always go dancing. She had strawberry-blonde hair. Lipstick, Jewelry, Dresses, Heels. My grandma was a stylish and class lady.
She was so alive.
For her last birthday, the big 9-1, I took her out to listen to music.
I asked her 5 times if she’d like to do something else but no, she wanted to stay there. She loved drinking her frilly summer drink and listening to the blues music played by men with ‘horrible hair’ as she put it even if it was through ear plugs and she was the oldest person in the place. I jokingly asked if she was old enough to be in there.
I told her I always wished she would be at my wedding. I’m her only grandchild that she’ll miss my wedding and children.
She told me to make sure I love the man I’m with and to make sure he loves God and treats me right.
I was so blessed by a series of unfortunate circumstances to have my Grandma live with me the last few months of her life.
I will never be more thankful for this priceless gift from a loving God.
The day she died, she waited for me to run in the room to her.
The night before, I had brought some beautiful things for her to hold. As I left, she said, ‘Amy, come back and see me.’
I promised, ‘I will Grandma, I will.’
A nail in the tire. A busted water pump.
A 90-mile-an-hour drive.
Nothing is worse than a Red-Light at a time like this.
Check that, Nothing is worse than 2 Red-Lights at a time like this.
“Grandma hold on” I yelled out my window.
Running from my car, through the doors and pushing that elevator button what seems a million times.
I ran into that room to find my older sister just sitting down.
I grabbed those pretty things and laid them by her side.
“Hey Grandma” She moved her head just a bit. “Your hair is beautiful Grandma”
And she was gone.
I bought a beautiful white dress to wear with my black and white sun hat to celebrate her life tomorrow.
I’ll add it below then.
Goodbye isn’t forever. But, nevertheless it is painful. Never say it unless you must.
I love you always you beautiful woman.
I know she’s happily dancing away with Grandpa again… In Red Lipstick with that beautiful strawberry blonde hair done up and a gorgeous dress and heels… Grandpa has been waiting a long time to explore heaven’s boundaries with her… I hope I find a love like that.