You know how in movies, the girl always cries when she has to watch somebody leave, or when she has to do the leaving herself? My mom is literally the same way. It is actually kind of expected for her to cry at just about anything.
When we were getting ready to leave my sister, Joanne, and her family from Downtown Disney, Caitlyn turned to me and Joanne and asked, “how long do you think it will take before mom starts crying?”
We exchanged glances, and Jo said something like, “not long,” and we laughed, because this was true. It never took much to make my mom cry.
Best believe that not even five minutes later, my mom started tearing up as we said our goodbyes to my big sister, my brother-in-law, Mike, and their kids. I don’t remember who said it, but I remember someone looking at my mom, and asking if she was crying.
“Come on, now, this is Mom we’re talking about,” I said, gesturing towards her. We knew that she was going to get that way, especially since my Mom wasn’t sure when she’d be seeing them again.
And I get why that would make her emotional. We make fun of her about it, but we know that she has every right to get upset. She is a mother, after all.
I, on the other hand, am pretty good at saying goodbye. Especially after I convince myself that it is more like a See You Later.
I get a little emotional, but I try not to wallow in my sorrows. I started to plan the next time I’m going to Florida before I even made it there last week, so that made saying goodbye that much easier. (Hopefully I can bring Caitlyn with me, but we’ll see how that goes over with my mom. We already talked to my dad about it, and he’s okay with the idea!)
Goodbyes are harder if you’re not sure when the next time you’ll be seeing someone again will be, and I’m positive that it’s even worse when you’re not sure if you’ll see them ever again. I guess that’s what makes break ups so hard.
But reassuring yourself that this is just a See You Later, rather than a Goodbye, definitely helps heal the wound, if you ask me. It helps me get over the sadness so much quicker than not.
Otherwise, I’m going to need some time and space to get over the goodbye.
My friend, Amanda, used to work with a little boy named Ronnie. She told me about this one time, when he was playing with a couple of toys, that he had one toy fall off the table. And before sending the toy to its death, he turned to Amanda and said, “Say goodbye, Amanda!”
When you’re a little kid, you don’t realize how saying goodbye can mean For Now or Forever. But adults can be the same way, and that’s kind of sad.
Amanda wasn’t very fond of children, but when it was time to leave Ronnie, she expressed an unexpected sadness. She liked helping this little boy, and he clearly must have left some kind of mark on her to make the goodbye a sad one. On a brighter side, she has seen him a couple of times since she stopped working with him, but it comes to show that you never know when the goodbye is For Now or Forever.
Not knowing whether not seeing someone is a For Now kind of thing or a Forever kind of thing totally sucks, you know? When you leave your friends at the end of a school year in high school, it’s not really emotional because you most likely live near one another, and are basically guaranteed to see each other. But when you leave your friends at the end of a year in college, it’s worse. It’s worse because these people you befriended could live across the country, and you don’t know if you’ll see them in three months, a year, five years, or ever again.
When it’s guaranteed that you will never see a person again, it makes you say these things that you’d never expect yourself to say. And when you think there’s a tomorrow, but there isn’t, you can find yourself regretting things you last said to them, and wishing you could have had five more minutes.
Goodbyes are ridiculously hard for some people; while others are so used to it, that they aren’t even phased by it. I lie somewhere in the middle of that spectrum. I’ve dealt with really hard goodbyes, very simple goodbyes, and goodbyes that I didn’t know were the Forever kind. I find myself thinking that I am pretty good at them by now. But, if I’m going to be honest, I guess it really just depends on the situation—not all goodbyes are the same.
Sometimes, it’s Goodbye. But sometimes, it’s just a See You Later.
Prompt: How good are you at saying goodbye?