I've never been good with goodbyes.
I remember when I was little, I would walk my parents out when they'd go, and then stand on the porch waving at them. It always meant so much that they, in their car, would turn and wave back, and I always watched and watched until their car turned the corner and I couldn't watch anymore. I always felt a little lump in my throat when they'd leave, an almost cry, and I'd miss them immediately. It always made me feel very small.
As an adult, I am still not comfortable saying goodbye to my loved ones, especially my parents. I still watch them (and Z) drive away, every time. When I'm out with friends I even have a hugging order sometimes, when it feels like it matters. I try to hug the person or people I love most last, so that it seems like I have more time with them, kind of like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz. "I'll miss you most of all, Scarecrow."
This morning when I left the house, I hugged and kissed Z, hugged and kissed The Dude, told them I loved them so much, wished them a good day, grabbed my tea (yay!), my purse, my phone, my keys, and finally got into my car. I had to roll the windows down to wipe away the dew that covered my car so that I could see, and it was then I heard a little voice calling, "Mommy! Oiyou! Mommy!"
I looked up to see an anxious little face on the other side of the screen door with tiny fingers curled against the metal. "Bye, Baby, I love you!" I called back. "Oiyou," he responded immediately. We went back and forth and I settled into my car, putting my tea in a place where it wouldn't spill, setting up my GPS, turning on the defroster. And then I had to drive away. I made sure to wave at those big eyes, and I saw him waving back at me.
It occurred to me for the first time that I was leaving to go and do a thing, and leaving someone behind who might miss me terribly, might be feeling very small, might be feeling those very same emotions that I did. Do still. It was a strange feeling, of time passing, of the Wheel of Life turning. It was a very powerful feeling that I am still sitting with, trying to make some sense out of. Thoughts and feelings are jumbled and I'm missing The Dude, Z, my parents, my brother, terribly, even though I see them all regularly. It seems strange to me that such a small occurrence is having such a strong impact on me.
I feel so lucky to have the ones I love in my life, even though we leave each other sometimes.
I am grateful.