Monday, September 19, 2011
The Reality of Saying Bye-Bye
I lay the top of my forehead against the steering wheel, feeling the tears as they cascaded down my cheeks and fell onto the weather mats below, puddling in the small grooves like the “muddles” he and I had been jumping in just the afternoon before. My heart felt as if it had been physically removed from my chest, and as I caught a glimpse of his tee-ball and plastic wiffle ball out of the corner of my eye, I felt a piece of my soul slip away as well.
Entering the house, sippy cups, rocking horses, his “park”, jammies and all signs of toddler surrounded me, and for a minute, I had to look around to see if he was really there. But the house stood eerily quiet, the same kind of still that just the weekend before I’d been longing for when it was all becoming too much, now was the enemy. Though it was imperative I keep packing, prepping, preparing, rehearsing and getting on the road for my week-long business trip, I stood there, motionless, trying to remember what my purpose was. And in this deafening silence, it still couldn’t be found.
Trying to channel my inner courage and focus on the positive, I searched for comfort in the words from Karen Maezen Miller of “Momma Zen:”
“The hardest day is not the day….the doctor comes at your tender two-month old with a needle…rise from all shaky fours with a bloody tooth…sop up vomit from a leather seat, poop from a cashmere coat or pee from a puddle two steps away from the airline bathroom…
The hardest day is the day you say good-bye. For many of us right away and for all of us eventually, this is everyday. Saying good-bye is the hardest thing to do. The thing we must do most is the thing we care to do the least, and so it keeps coming around the bend.
There were reassurances…but they were such flimsy tissue-paper sails to ferry us through the dark distance of being gone.”
Be calm and confident in separating, because even in separation, there is no separation, and the trust you impart will be the trust in which your child carries on.”
So I’ll do my best to channel my inner Karen, and I too, will carry on, hosting a stellar meeting for Radiology and Ambulatory folks who are working to make a difference in millions of pediatric patients.
But deep down I’ll know that the reality of saying good-bye is a harsh one.
Miss you already, buddy. Wishing you and Daddy that week of “sitting around watching football in your undies” comes true.
And with that, I’m off to Dallas, my friends. Have a wonderful week and look forward to the fun weekend activities like the Plaza Art Fair and Strutt With Your Mutt!