When it comes to goodbyes I’m a total procrastinator. I refuse to think about it; choosing instead to enjoy every last possible moment. Choosing instead to never think of a parting as a goodbye.
This week was no exception. My aunt arrived not quite two weeks ago and being from such a large family her time was being stretched to the max. Trying to fit in as many visits as possible and participate in as many things as she could – her twelve days vanished in the blink of an eye.
But not before she participated in the CIBC Run for the Cure with my Mom; her sister and fellow breast cancer survivor. Not before she sat at my cousins bedside as she was rushed to the hospital for emergency surgery. Not before she sat alongside my best friend as I found my wedding dress. Not before she had a date with her best friend; childhood friends and paid a visit to her old workplace. Not before she attended her great nieces birthday party. Not before she viewed her home town (city) and all its changes. Not before she made dozens of new memories.
Not before she made it harder to say goodbye.
No one wanted to monopolize her time; it was limited enough. But none of us wanted today to come. Because life is sometimes cruel and the unexpected happens. Because it is hard being so far away as life unfolds in front of us – not being able to be a part of things.
And that is why I didn’t want to be the one to take her to the airport. Because I hate goodbyes. They’re the one thing that never fails to make me cry. To make me wish life was different and didn’t require so many damn goodbyes. But that was her request. And I surely wasn’t going to turn down a chance to squeeze in another visit. Even if it was only an hour. Even when I knew what the trip would be like. That hundred pound elephant on my chest as I refused to let the tears go. I refused to say the words.
Because it wasn’t goodbye.
Goodbyes are final and this wasn’t final. Goodbyes are terrifying and heartbreaking and this was neither. It was a parting – until she comes home again. Because this is her home and we all come home.
“Said goodbye, turned around and you were gone, gone, gone. . . fading into the setting sun . . . slipped away . . . but I won’t cry because I know I’ll never be lonely . . . I will see you again . . . this is not where it ends . . . ” (Carrie Underwood – See You Again)