|For You Mom|
One time when I was 8 or 9 years old my good friend who lived next door had to move. Apparently this turn of events was a bit much for me to take. At that age, my response to experiences that I didn't wish to have, involved a temper tantrum that would verge on histrionics. "It's not fair." I would whine. "They should not leave. They should just stay." I would demand.
I imagine my Mother's response to such fits was the standard phrase: Life is not fair. What I do remember her telling me very clearly is sometimes we just have to say goodbye. That I would make new friends. Yes, it's tough, but it will be OK. I don't remember that bit of wisdom being much comfort. However, we all know that the best lessons in life have little to do with our own comfort.
What my mom did not realize that day is she was teaching me The Most Precious Lesson - How to say goodbye.
As a strange twist in fate would have it, we recently spoke of the idea of goodbyes again. I had told her that Dad had said, "I imagine Hawk misses you." Hawk is my 9 year old son in case Mom missed her bragging rights. My mother's reply was, "Sometimes it's good to miss people." I came back with an agreeable, "Yeah, sometimes it is." Of course I had no idea at that time I was gearing up for the Great Goodbye. The one I Miss You that can't be fixed - at least not here on Earth.
I will miss you Mom in a good way. I will treasure and pass on the most precious lesson that you have taught me - How to Say Goodbye.
Goodbye, Mom. Godspeed.
PS - I had asked to speak at my mom's funeral. Apparently I am the only one brave enough to do so. I didn't even have a clue what to say. I just felt I needed to do it. I promised the minister that I would write something down so that I would not go off on a tangent and take too much time. I woke up at 2:30 in the morning and wrote out the rough draft. What you read above is like the 6th draft if you count each time I've changed it. I think it's polished and good to go.