Good-byes. They are something I do or say every day as part of my routine. I say good-bye to my husband when I leave for work in the morning. I bid my students good-bye at the end of the day. I end almost every phone conversation with “bye.” It is just a habit that I never think about.
Yesterday, however, my daughter casually told me that her husband likes the way our family says good-bye. What? I asked her what she said again, thinking I had misunderstood her, but I had not. She went on to explain that when we say good-bye to them when they are leaving after a visit, it is simple. It is sincere, but it is quick. An embrace, a kiss, thanks for coming, safe travels, hope to see you soon. Gosh, I never thought about how else we would say good-bye. How else could it be done?
Apparently, others don’t want to let go. Their good-byes are long and drawn out. There are tears, there are scoldings for having been away too long, there are promises demanded of when you will return. Then there are many more tears. It all seems to elicit feelings of guilt and dread. Though it is all rooted in love, the drama overshadows it.
Good-byes are important. I have always been one to say them, but from now on, I will be cognizant of how I say them. Certainly, there are “forever” farewells that are difficult to say and will not leave anyone on a happy note. However, I am talking about the every day good-byes. I want the person/people I am separating from to know that I valued our time together. And, I want them to have warm feelings about it when they think about me. Even when we dropped our daughter off at college the first time, I cried….but not in front of her. I did not want to make her feel badly.
So, I will continue to keep my good-byes sincere but simple in the hopes that the person will look forward to being with me again. Good-bye!