This week's Sunday Scribblings prompt is 'Goodbyes.' Laini told me last week that I needed to get scribbling again, so I felt that I needed to start with this one as it gave my heart a twist when I read it. When you live in one country and your family and most friends live in another, you say an awful lot of goodbyes.
For me there are several layers of goodbye in life. First there are the goodbyes that you say that you don't mean. These goodbyes are the ones that you say when you hang up the phone, the ones that you say when you leave someone at the end of a night out together or when you are leaving a dinner party or work or just when you leave in the morning. These goodbyes are never meant to be final, and they slip off of our tongues without us realizing how powerful the word can be. These goodbyes sometimes become the ones that you wish you could remember.
Then there are the goodbyes that you don't want to say because they mean it's going to be a long time before you get to say 'hello' again. These are the ones that bring tears to your eyes. I say a lot of this kind of goodbye at the airport. No matter where I am going I am leaving someone behind who I am going to miss. A lot of these are shortened by lumps in the throat or foregone all together in favour of a tight hug. These goodbyes remind you of how precious people are to you and how important moments together are.
Finally there are the category of goodbyes that are never shared; the ones you have to keep to yourself because there is no one to say them to. These are the ones that haunt you; the ones that are beyond tears. These goodbyes are the ones that you whisper into a phone when you have already hung up and you know you will not speak again. This is the goodbye that you say to a gravestone or a silence or that you whisper into the wind. This is the goodbye of unfinished business or regret or sudden loss. This is the one that echoes in your ears as you lie in bed at night. It's the one that you long to have been heard. It's the one that alters your life.
Sometimes I wish that we lived in a time where we could use the word, 'farewell' instead of 'goodbye.' In a fantasy book that I wrote I ended with one of my characters saying, "Farewell" and then finishing up with, "Until we meet again." I feel like we take our partings for granted. Shortly after a friend died I came across this Irish blessing and I loved it. It's a bit religious and old fashioned, but all it really means is, 'I love you, I wish nothing but the best for you and please take care of yourself so that we will meet again.' So now if you and I ever meet in person and then we have to say goodbye, please know that what I really mean by that is this:
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
May the sun shine warm upon your face
May the rain fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
P.S. My surgery went well, thank you! I won't gross you out with the details like my Dr. grossed me out with the evidence!