Jul 27, 2014

The End Of Our Fellowship.

“Well, here at last, dear friends, on the shores of the Sea comes the end of our fellowship in Middle-earth. Go in peace! I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.” 

I was driving down the road the other day thinking about how absolutely horrid I am at the goodbye thing and I had to stop and smile to myself as I realized, "Seriously, Ms.Jennifer, is anyone good at the goodbye thing?" You always hear people say, "I am so bad at goodbyes." But you never hear someone say, "oh my gosh I am so freaking awesome at goodbyes....do you want me to help you with yours?" Hey, wouldn't that be cool if you could just hire someone to say good bye for you? Hmmm....what would be the harm in that? :)

My life is officially in goodbye mode right now. Not my favorite mode. I can't decide which is worse, "goodbye mode" OR "you have to open your presents in front of other people mode OR "giving people hugs mode ?"

I have been in goodbye mode before. I have moved from Utah to New Jersey....from New Jersey to Kansas....from Kansas to Indiana....from Indiana to Massachusetts....I have moved from Washington to Utah....I have moved from California to Washington. I have had to say goodbye to high school boyfriends. I said goodbye to college boyfriends. I have said goodbye to my missionary children. I have said goodbye to kids going to college. I have had to say goodbye to countless dear friends. I have said goodbye to animals. I have said goodbye to weight. I have said goodbye to ...well yeah, you get the picture, I remember good bye mode, I know how it rolls. I could blog about it if necessary. Oh, wait....I am :) You know despite all those goodbyes that I was just casually bragging about I am a little bit afraid that this goodbye is a whole different level....I mean....

I am saying goodbye to a state that taught me more about myself than any other state on the map.
I am saying goodbye to a marriage.
I am saying goodbye to people at jobs ( I have never worked before)
I am saying goodbye to my piano
I am saying goodbye to a best friend who had to hold me together in a most embarrassing way.
I am saying goodbye to joint bank accounts
I am saying goodbye to financial security
I am saying goodbye to my garden
I said goodbye to my big white van.
I am saying goodbye to my Joe who will stay here.

But enough of that heavy stuff. Lets just chat about saying goodbye to people. I hates it. (Gollum talk there :) I hates fighting the lump in my throat. I hates remembering the things you and I did together and how fun they were. I hates knowing it is very possible that I will not see you again and that even if we do see each other again it can never be the same. I really hates not being able to think of adequate words to explain to you what is overflowing in my heart and mind. I hates that nothing I ever do or say will adequately express my missing you to you. This is just not pleasant in any teeny tiny way. But despite all my complaining about the uncomfortable-ness and hating of official good byes, just between you and me, not getting to officially say goodbye to someone may suck a little bit more. To be left with no closure and no words and no opportunity....so icky. Yes, I used the word suck.....just so you would know exactly how I feel :) Shhh don't tell my mom. I won't ever do it again :)

June was the first time I recognized that goodbye mode was upon me. Goodbye mode is often found hanging out with, "last time" mode. Last time mode is when you are driving down certain roads or going to certain favorite places and you realize that this is the last time you will be doing that. I first noticed it when I took the kids to upstate New York to Niagara Falls and Palmyra in June. Two places I love living close to. Two places I love visiting. And when we were there, out of the blue, the last time feeling hit me and I realized this was the last time. UGH

Then the garage sale came. That was when the goodbye reality hit the kids and I...hard. Saying good bye to possessions. Possessions that only we know the story of. Possessions that represent home.

Then came saying good bye to my co-workers at Holyoke Community College Library last Thursday. I did not think I had worked there long enough to have earned the very sweet and thoughtful good bye party they had for me.

Then it was good bye to a few close church friends at another very sweet and thoughtful party on Friday night. As things progress it is all getting harder. I am not going to lie, I keep fighting the urge to run away from all of it. Facing goodbye requires a maturity I am not sure I possess right now. I confess, that I was the first person to leave this goodbye party just showing how unable I am to be classy or mature. But as I sat there and listened to all these sweet strong women chat and laugh I was not sure how much longer I could hold it all in :)

The other night I went out with my dear friend Gail. It is most likely the last time we will meet on a weekend night and shop and eat out and solve life's problems. I think Gail and I have done practically everything together the past 6 years. I love this girl. We love to meet up at Kohl's on a weekend evening and shop and then go eat and then go shop some more. I said to her tonight in my sad, wistful voice after we had just made our purchases at Kohl's...."Who I am I going to go Christmas shopping with now?" Christmas shopping is just the tip of the iceberg. She, and I and our kids have so many traditions together it is incredibly hard to imagine day to day life without her. I have not had many friends who will play with me like Gail. I have not had many friends that will shop with me like Gail. I have not had many friends who have been through yucky things with me and stayed around like Gail has. She has taught me so much I can not imagine not being able to jump in the car and be at her house in twenty minutes. Good bye to this amazing woman who honestly kept me alive is going to be hard. But I know she is going to insist on it... if I even leave to go home from church without saying goodbye to her she freaks out :)

This Wednesday is my last day of work at the Westfield Atheneaum I am not looking forward to this goodbye. These girls I work with I dearly love. Going to work with all of them everyday has been complete joy. I love what I have learned from them. I am also going to miss the patrons and all their little quirks. The adorable seniors who need me to help them find out what is on the New York Times bestseller list. The teenagers who want to find the book that matches the latest movie. The oneries who want to fight with me about their fines. The predictables who need to always have a Dr.Who dvd waiting for them on the hold shelf.

In addition to saying goodbye to people I need to say goodbye to a few places. Am I the only person who does weird things like that? I am saving my places goodbye for next weekend which is my last weekend here. I have two places that mean oh so much to me and I have not been to either of them in 3 years but I need to go see them one last time before I head west.

Goodbye is so incredibly hard for me to do. Those emotions that goodbyes bring to the surface are are a little embarrassing for me. So please do not judge me too harshly if I seem to appear to avoid it or if I do not seem to give it the recognition it deserves.

“What is that feeling when you're driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? - it's the too-huge world vaulting us, and it's good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.” 


Smilin' sunshine said...

This made me cry! It isn't hard to make me cry, but still!!! I know I don't see you often, but I will miss you!!

mom/diane said...

I can't say goodbye either. I love aloha. It is goodbye and hello all in one. As a word, it fits birth occasions but the feelings are not the same for either. Goodbyes are the hello of remembering where we have been. And hellos are always a part of me. Probably doesn't make sense to anyone but me.

Betty's Reflections said...

Goodbye phase is very hard. It is so great that you've had great friends, places and experiences to miss. Here's to your new friends, places and experiences. Sending you some love.

Ackerman/Mejias Family said...

Oh my dear, dear, friend! I love you and thank you for your unconditional friendship. You've taught me much about honesty and humility and doing. I won't say good bye because we will see each other again soon enough. I can count on that!