Early Christmas together, four days few.  Full and wonderful, and now, Goodbye son. Goodbye to hearing you from across the room out-playing your sisters Spotify tunes – respective laptops. Goodbye to thoughts deep and random and passionate. To shirts and shoes, earphones, books all stacked up and gum wrappings. Goodbye, adventures with your little brother out the door and into ice air to golf on frosty green.  Back home, the telling of impossible strokes the 10 year old has managed.  To shoulder rides packing Butterfly through the lights of downtown, the rest of us trudging behind as you take us to to experience the wonders of Seattle Coffee. Goodbye to you and Sis working on the latest software for drawing on laptop.  Goodbye whirlwind of togetherness.

When you go, there’s a hollow space – a deadness in the place. Sis stays another couple weeks, then she too will be gone and far. No piano echoing through house, no one to shop with, her bedroom floor even vacated and alone. No Sis and Butterfly dancing and reading and painting. No Sis to help 10 year old Mr. All Business work a project for school.  I’ll have to say Goodbye all over again.  I swear I loose years off my life each time I say goodbye, tear washed face, pounding chest… and hurting.

I prayed – whole life through – each of you would grow to be independent and strong, give more then take, and serve the Lord with all you are.  So now your’re flying away, back to home sweet school, back to your job at the local Alzheimer’s Unit, working as a nurses aid.  “Good night” you say to confused resident you tuck into bed. “Don’t let the bed bugs bite. And if they do, kick ’em black and blue.”  A chuckle and the light grows dim. Back to Chemistry, midnight mud hot springs, hikes in 0′ below snow.  Back to all we ever dreamed for you.

I HATE goodbyes – those grand aches of goodness. Goodbye.

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