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June 11, 2005

Saying Goodbye

As much as I have to say goodbye, it never gets easier.

Growing up, I said goodbye a lot; sometimes daily when attending a DOD (Department of Defense) school. Classmates, friends, teachers, neighbors and even my family.

I got used to it. Realizing after a while that if I truly missed them enough, I would keep in touch with them; and I did.

I wrote letters to anyone I felt I needed to keep in touch with. I called weekly and visited many people on my own vacations. And when email came about, I was sure to have everyones email address. I took it to the extreme. I was able to send my Kindergarten teacher a graduation announcement, still keep in touch with a friend that was born a week before me in the same hospital and have kept in touch with more friends that are out of state than I have in state!

So goodbye was hard, but not the end of the world.

However, saying goodbye to my family never gets easier. Waking up and loading the truck - knowing I only have a few more moments with them. The silent ride to the airport, thinking about if I could live in AZ again. Getting to the airport and dad taking charge, checking me in, making sure my luggage is secure and tagged, despite the many times I have flown before.

The hugs at the security checkpoint. Sis #1 was easy as she will be living only 150 miles away from me in just a few short weeks.

Then there's my stepmom. We hug tight, exchange I love yous and I thank her for making this such a wonderful visit. She works so hard to make sure we have a great time.

Next is what is usually so hard. I hug Sis #2 and tell her I love her and how much I enjoyed seeing her. Something was different this time. Usually, she cries and sobs to the point that I just can't take - uttering between sobs "Why can't you live here?" "Other girls have their sisters with them" "Why do you always have to go" I hate it! I want to cry just thinking about what's going through that 7 year old brain - how her heart must feel.

But this time, she didn't do that. No tears, no sobs. I held her and told her I loved her. She said, "I love you Sissy" in her usual sweet way and hugged me lightly.

What caused the change? Did I not spend enough time with her this time? Is she just getting older? Was it just too early in the morning? (she did say last night that she wanted Dad to take me to the airport so her and stepmom could sleep in) Who knows! But it has scared me. Has she gotten used to goodbyes?

And then there is the goodbye with dad. This one is the hardest. He hugs me so tight, I wonder if he will let go. He says, "I love you so much and I am very proud of you" Then he always throws in that I can always come home and that there is (the company that I work for) in Phoenix. He asks again if I have everything, tells me to be cautious and aware of my surroundings and makes me promise to wave when I get to the other side of security.

I smile at everyone one more time, mouth I love you and make my way through the security line. I never look back while in line. I can't. I already have the sore throat and shaky voice - fighting back the tears. I make it through, turn and wave (it's so easy to spot my dad - the tall Marine). Everyone waves back and my dad mouths I love you. I turn and start my return to my life. My life 2500 miles away from my family.

I wonder while waiting to board, if I should move back. I do this every time. I even plan how I would do it - job wise, financially and the physical move.

I don't know what I'll do, but I have to figure out something, because goodbye never gets any easier.

Posted by Sissy at June 11, 2005 10:26 PM

That's why we're moving back to CA.... but not back to Fresno....

Posted by: caltechgirl at June 11, 2005 10:33 PM

Saying goodbyes over and over again, does takes its toll.

Posted by: ArmyWifeToddlerMom at June 13, 2005 09:04 AM

It's always hard to leave my folks and we live only 600 miles away and I see them twice a year. I always hug them, but as I get in the car, I feelcompelled to hug them again, and so I do. And then as I get buckled up, I feel compelled to do it again... it's like some obssessive compulsive hug my parents over and over again thing. It sucks.

Posted by: Bou at June 13, 2005 09:07 AM

I've moved all my life. Like you, saying goodbye to family is always hard. That's one of the reasons that my husband and I are moving close to our kids and grandkids when we retire. I can't wait! Just over 2 more years! No more goodbyes, just words like "Good night" and "See you tomorrow!"

Posted by: Donna at June 13, 2005 10:27 AM

I'm really glad for you that you have such a terrific relationship with your family! That's wonderful and something I can see you cherish instead of taking it for granted.

As for your young sister - it sounds like she's growing up. She's past the age where it seems like she'll never see you again when you say good bye (much like a toddler will cry when mom leaves them to go to work) and she's into the stage where life is infinite and you will always be coming back. This is normal - so don't sweat it... it would be far worse if she didn't grow out of the earlier stage!

Posted by: Teresa at June 14, 2005 02:28 PM