This post inspired by V.J.’s Weekly Challenge #42: Farewell
Every day is a farewell of sorts.
I am reminded of something I learned in science class years ago.
To every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.
For every farewell, there is a Hello.
A Welcome To sign.
A Chapter One.
Sometimes, if you’re lucky, a do-over.
Farewells accumulate more quickly…the older I get.
Crowding the rear view.
Perhaps blocking the front view…
…now that I have more time to notice.
This came to mind upon reading another blogger’s post today: The Art of Letting Go. The coincidence of finding this post in my inbox as I was contemplating V.J.’s challenge is probably more serendipity than coincidence.
One of those Pay Attention moments.
Farewells are often difficult. While trying to maintain connections. To people. To what is important. To who we are. It is a decision with consequences after all.
I have bid farewell many times in the last decades.
Mostly by choice…
Downsizing – thousands of farewells with every trip to Goodwill. Sale on Craig’s List. Yard sale. Donation to charity. Trash and recycling day. Even “stuff” that brought me joy. The reality of space as the priority. Realizing it was okay to let go.
Moving – from a home of 37 years. Where my marriage bloomed. Two beautiful children slept, ate, played, laughed, cried, hugged, stomped, yelled, studied, loved. And then bid farewell. A home where the grass grew tall. The trees and flowers blossomed. Glorious forsythias…a special Mother’s Day gift…flourished. Now all in the rear view.
…Also goodbye to mowing the lawn and shoveling snow. Raking leaves. Climbing stairs. Taking care of a big house.
Emptying the nest – There was always that catch in my throat as I watched the train pull out of the station. Or the bus leave for the airport. Carrying my son, backpack in hand. My daughter, her oversized purse packed with books. Back to college. Work. A new home. In another city. I waved frantically…hopefully at the right window. Or from the front steps of our home…as the car backed out of the driveway, shifted to drive and before I knew it, rounded the corner and disappeared. Farewell. For now.
…Also goodbye to listening for a teenage driver returning home late at night. Responsibility for raising ’em right. Laundry. Tuition.
Farewell to worry? Not so much.
First farewells – Perhaps the most etched in memory. My daughter – my oldest – at 3. Her first day at preschool. Pink corduroy pants. Flowered turtleneck. Eyes bright. Huge smile. More than ready. Sun shining that March day as I walked her into the coat cubby room. “Bye Mommy!!” A hug and a kiss. She hasn’t looked back since. A bittersweet farewell. That made perfect sense.
The most difficult farewells…the unexpected ones. Not by choice….
When doctors started concluding office visits with “now that you’re 35…” these things happen. Which 20 years later morphed into “now that you’re menopausal” these things happen. To – finally – “autoimmune” happens. It might as well have become my middle name.
The doctors shrug. No longer look me in the eye.
Another farewell to who I used to be. What I could do.
No do-overs here; but adjustments for a new path.
…Relationships desperately needing a shift.
Unexpectedly…no longer healthy.
Perhaps the most difficult. Challenging.
Familiar connections gone terribly wrong.
Out of my control. Into the deep end.
the new chapter.