A Tough Goodbye
- Saying Goodbye Is Always Hard For ME
Every goodbye for me is difficult. I have never like saying goodbye to anyone. The last hard goodbye I said was to my friend Sarah who goes to Rhode Island for the summer. I know she will be back in late summer and maybe I will see her during the summer once or twice but I hate saying goodbye and I’m not a big fan of change.
I get teary eyed and my emotions just surge to the surface and I feel upset. My pale, cream-cheese complexion gets flushed and I need to stop myself from wailing. It doesn’t last more than a few minutes but it’s always there. When my husband travels and shuts the door behind him, when my kids leave for college and before that, dropping them off at camp….all painful and difficult.
I think it started when I was a teen and my parents traveled a lot on vacation and left me home, alone. We lived in an apartment building and even though my neighbors lived nearby, it was very hard for me when my parents left; I felt abandoned. I remember each time they left I would cry and look at them entering the bright yellow taxi that waited for them on the street.
I don’t hide that I am not fond of goodbyes, I know better now. I tell people the truth. I hate saying goodbye; it’s just part of who I am.
- Previous Answer
I miss the old days. Before computers and messages and Facebook. When people called each other on the telephone, you know the ones that hung from the wall in putrid yellow and green with curly, tangled cords. They conveyed news, good and bad. You were able to preface things with either hesitation if it was bad news or words that conveyed your discomfort. Good news was easy, people could tell by the lilt of your excited voice. It doesn’t happen that way anymore. I found out about a friend’s death on Facebook. FACEBOOK. It’s true, and it says a lot about society at least to old-fashioned me.
I’m not saying we were best friends and that we had lunch together every week but in the old days when I grew up there was a phone chain. At least you could get a phone call from someone who knew someone and there was that one moment of preparation when an unfamiliar voice would ask to speak to you somewhat hesitantly……You got the needling sensation in your stomach that something was just not right and even though you can never really be prepared, at least you had a gut feeling.
I got the message, as others did, in black and white print, in the form of a lovely, well-written memorial (Thank you, Roland in no way is this a criticism of YOU.) Couldn’t someone have sent a mailing at least to soften the blow? I guess not, that’s not the way society works these day. I should catch up with the future, I’m just not sure if I can.
I’m still in shock. Truly, I can’t grasp that my friend is dead, maybe because I only had a hint that she was sick. I knew she was in pain once when I saw her but I didn’t know from what; everyone has a bad day now and then. Although I sensed something was wrong when she snapped at me once; that was so not like her at all. It was pure intuition that made me feel something was off, nothing else.
Reading her eulogy in print has not given me time to acclimate to the news. Her own Facebook page is still up, with her own heavenly smile lighting up her page. I’m not sure how to deal with this, there is nothing I can do except get used to the idea she is gone. Having no information makes it worse.
I’ve said good-bye to Helen in my heart and I know that’s all I can do. But finding out about someone’s death on Facebook? That’s got to be a new low. At least for me.
You can’t be perfect all the time. I thought I had to try to be in the past as a child. Now I don’t. No one is perfect. Like recently pressing the Publish key first instead of the Save key. It’s okay. Really, nobody cares and if I care (that first audible intake of breath) it’s a waste of my time. My life. I’m not going there. Not ever again. It won’t come automatically, that’s okay.
I will be nicer to myself and easier on myself and everyone else too. Hey, I don’t know how much longer I have on this earth or how much longer anyone else has. I just won’t care as much, not as intensely, maybe you learn that with age or being hurt or just choosing not to care anymore. I wish I had known that thirty years ago but you learn when you truly need to learn, when it is crucial. I want to surround myself with those that love me and simplify my life, positive people. I want to subtract, without drama, the negative people. It’s initially hard to accept when you’re in the middle of some dreaded tsunami and you are swept up but when things finally settle down, you learn. I’ve learned to inhale on one, hold, exhale on two. Repeat as needed. There’s always a way to work things out, always. I’ve found that out with family, it’s not what it used to be but it works. Will everybody be 100 percent happy? Probably not but if we are all 75 percent happy it’s a good deal.
While traveling I’ve always taken the direct route to get from here to there. The direct route is simple and less risky. But, I am learning to take some risks even if it feels uncomfortable at first. It should feel uncomfortable, you should wriggle around with a few pangs of anxiety and then….then you grow and learn. I have decided that from now on I am taking the long and winding road, to make detours, to appreciate beauty in its simplicity. That’s what adventure and growing are all about. Taking a chance and growing up. Taking the direct route, as I have done, is the easy way but it feeds on your insides and makes you feel used and destroyed, and hurt. All I needed to do was say “no” and step back. Firmly. It’s been a long journey and it isn’t over yet, I’m sure.
It doesn’t matter how old you are, we keep learning. Sometimes it’s painful, most times it’s uncomfortable to do something completely different from what you have done for your whole life. I tried it on for size, I moved my body around, adjusting my skin as if it was attached directly with a sharp, silver needle to every cell, like the pricks of a cactus. It poked, it prodded and I learned to work with it, not against it. In the end, not only was it comfortable but it made me shine, from the inside out.
Happiness leaks out
News of a friend’s sudden death.
I have no breath left.
( In Memory of Helen Celestine Escoffier- an Angel to so many)
Like a gray rabbit
My pup prances down the steps
To our love, delight.
Coffee’s first, hot, sip
every morning with a kiss
I adopted a dog recently from an animal shelter, we think she’s a combination of a German Shepard and Yellow Lab. Adopting a dog instead of buying one makes me happy; getting a new dog after my old dog died made me happy. Any shade of the color yellow makes me happy. Today my pick for Mellow Yellow Monday are Yellow Labs. I know, all you can do is smile and say “Awwww.”( p.s. this is NOT my dog)
I lived in New York City in 1979 when Etan Patz first went missing. I saw all the posters of that beautiful mop-headed little boy with his innocent eyes and his toothy grin. If bad things like that had happened before, I wasn’t aware of them. In 1979 I had graduated from college and was working in the City and my world, like so many other people, turned inside out.
No one could imagine such a horrific thing like that happening, of course he would be found, we thought. I am now a mother of two teenagers, reading after all these years that a man, whom they suspected years ago, confessed to the murder. Why? Why did he confess to it now (and is it true?) and wasn’t he a suspect in 1979 and if so, why didn’t the police follow-up on that lead? I’m very confused.
How much grief should Etan’s parents and family have to go through? Etan has been dead, missing, gone for so many years now yet even reading the article still pains me and I never knew him personally. We were just part of one big community together, he and I and thousands of others, “New Yorker’s.”
His name was a household phrase, I still see the image of his mom’s face in 1979 inscribed in my memory, Etan’s picture on posters ingrained in my brain. As a parent, would I feel any better NOW knowing for sure that after so many years this disgusting man was the perpetrator of the crime? What good can come of it now except to bring closure to the already suffering parents?
What about now? Did Etan have siblings, boys, girls? How are they? What have their lives been like? It couldn’t have been easy. How did the mom and dad cope with this, are they still together, did it make them stronger or tear them apart? Why not focus all the articles, if you have to report on them, on the present and not the past. Or give the new evidence the one sentence it deserves, don’t put it in blaring headlines.
There’s enough sadness in the world; it’s time to put the emphasis on whatever tiny dot of happiness in the world. Look around, it might be the orange butterfly swooping through the sky, or the sound of a child laughing, or watching a puppy dance and drop quickly to sleep. Can’t we all try to stay clear from negativity, even/especially if it takes the effort? It would do the world, a lot of good. What if we all tried, in memory, of Ethan.
I’m supposed to write about oranges, sliced oranges in circles, thick peels attached and I’m not sure why. Also, sunshine hiding somewhere behind the thunderous rain clouds that have attacked us for days on end. You can’t see the sun, you don’t hear about it on the long-range, extended forecast but you have to believe it’s going to come back sometime. I don’t know when, I’ve stopped counting the days, the weeks, it will show up one day, probably when I stop waiting for it.
I see old-fashioned carriages, black with wide-spoked wheels driving crookedly on cobble stoned streets; maybe I lived here in a past life. This could be France. I see a friend, Delia, beside me laughing; I don’t know her but I guess we are experiencing the same thing together. With Delia by my side I feel happy, we have always had adventures like this one, we have moved on and now we are in England. (in real life I think Delia is my friend Denise-before she got married.) I’m the one, of course, who is looking for a place for afternoon tea and scones with Devonshire cream. You can’t forget that creamy, sweet, delicious taste in any time period.
On some random, indoor, faded pink carpet there are small spots of dog poop stains (stains only, no poop.) Listen, I haven’t taken any drugs or smoked anything or am having any flashbacks or swallowed ANY alcoholic beverages. This is what is coming out of my weird, psychedelic mind. I don’t even know a Delia.
What does it mean? I have no idea. I just know that I’m supposed to write this gibberish down and I am doing that. Call it crazy, though the word scares me now, call it quirky, silliness, call it free-form writing. Call it what it is, commercials of junk in my mind, or artistic ramblings of a very tired woman. You never know, this could end up in a novel one day or a biography, in a junk pile, or a shredder. Who is to say?
Today is the first day I have felt stronger; strong enough to help myself heal from a very rough few weeks. I felt the urge to get out of my house. I went to a store and talked with the owner, a woman my age, and I bought myself a necklace that has a wishbone on it and a small mustard colored pocketbook. There was no occasion other than I wanted to make myself feel good and they were both on sale. It was so good to be out of the house, talking to someone new; even though the clouds and rain have been non-stop for two weeks, I felt my heart start to brighten, just a tiny bit. I had done something different.
I posted a sign in my neighborhood to ask others if they wanted to help me help others, to brain storm, ( ideas welcome here too) to perform acts of kindness; something I have always wanted to do but never really knew how to get started. I don’t know if I will get a response but I like the fact that I initiated it. I’m not usually an initiator but it’s about time I became one.
My husband and I drove and rejoined Costco, it doesn’t take much to please me. I actually used the electric cart so I didn’t have to walk the long aisles where I know I get tired and cranky (thank you, chronic pain) and I was proud of myself for the idea and figuring it out on my own. I was proud not to be afraid, proud not to be ashamed. Fibromyalgia, Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, take a hike, me-1, them-0.
Since my son was not home on Mother’s Day, we celebrated Mother’s Day tonight and went out to dinner. The four of us had “Fother’s Day” (Faux Mother’s Day” ) in a restaurant that I chose. It was lovely and there was no fighting and GASP no cell phone use. My daughter complimented me on my hair and I was thrilled. We weren’t going to order dessert but lo and behold, on this day, every week, (yes, it’s going in my calendar) you get free dessert if you order an entrée. How could we possibly say no? One chocolate cake, one banana bread pudding (with almond ice cream) and one apple crisp (with almond ice cream) later we were completely full, unable to move but incredibly happy.
Bandages on wounds, kisses on boo-boos, soft, warm blankets for being cold. I sensed I needed a sign, a cosmic sign and I contacted a friend, a famous medium, Roland Comtois, who was kind enough to answer me but there were no signs from him. Later in the evening I got my sign on my own telling me I was on the right path: getting out more, being with people, feeling stronger and doing for others; my dad checked in with me from heaven. His initials, as always, blue on orange license plates, on a car parked in front of me, FBF. I should have been more patient for my own signs. I should have trusted myself. Thank you, Roland for listening, you are a gentle, sweet soul; a gift to both worlds.
I’m on my way back, stronger. There will be days when I feel unsteady. I’ve been through an incredibly rough year. It was bound to come out at some time. We had no home for over three and a half months. I had a despicable doctor who was cruel. I felt ganged up on by my mother and sister and that is a horrible place to be. I am stronger now, I will not accept being ganged up on anymore, ever. I have my own boundaries. I am on my way; I will allow myself a bad day or two now and then. That’s okay.
Imagine a freshly baked loaf of French bread just out of the oven. You can smell the aroma from the house. Everyone’s nose follows the smell. There, in the middle of the counter is the loaf of hot, French bread with a dish of sweet, fresh butter next to it, just waiting…. No fake butter, no margarine, no chemicals, the real thing. Diets forgotten for tonight. French bread and butter. That’s all I need to be happy.
We share memories
Pining for simplicity
That we had before.
Longing for laughter
rainbow magic in the stars
the sun in my soul.
Comfort, like a glove
Chasing the demons away
In the olden days.