Friday, April 24, 2015

reliving good byes

Our next door neighbors have a daughter who is graduating from high school in June and headed to Sacred Heart University in the fall. Naomi, Johanna's mother, told me the other day about how anxious and happy Johanna is to be leaving home.

Plus Mark's mother gave Johanna her car when she bought a new one. Knowing Johanna's grandmother as I do, I'm sure it's pristine.

It reminded me of our 'good byes' with Josh and Mimi.

Josh left first. He was going to UMass in Amherst. He was spending his Freshman year in a high-rise dorm and it was taking forever to get moved in because they were using the elevators to move people in one at a time. So, he told us to go home and we left him sitting on his luggage on a sidewalk. Bern cried half the way home and I shed a tear or two myself.

Bennington College, where we drove Mimi 3 years later handled the transition with much more grace and speed, being much smaller than UMass. All the parents were invited to a patio of one of the schools buildings to hear from the President. She told us to not try to find our children to say good-bye. "Just go home," she told us, "we'll take care of them as if they were ours." And I think they did.

Another good-bye: After graduating from college, we took Josh to some airport where he was flying to England to live and work for a year. He was walking away from us, down a long hall-way, and waved his hand without turning around. Our baby boy was going to another continent, and what we got was a wave with his back turned!

I told Naomi that story. She laughed and said, "I doubt we'll get even that from Johanna!"

Pondering those good-byes was somehow cleansing for me.

I'd suggest you think about the good-byes of your life and ponder how rich saying them was....

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some ponderings by an aging white man who is an Episcopal priest in Connecticut. Now retired but still working and still wondering what it all means...all of it.