Endings and Beginnings

Saying goodbye is an opportunity – to close one chapter of your life and begin a new one – to fill the void left when life forces us to say yet one more goodbye.

On February 5, 2018 I was working at my computer when I got a Face Time call from my brother, Larry. He was calling to thank me for the birthday card, which I had sent in December. We had a lovely visit and in closing he said, “Excuse me, I have to go now.” And then he said, “Pauline I love you.” I leaned back from my computer screen, somewhat shocked at his bold declaration. I grinned and said, “Thank you, I love you too.

Two weeks later on February 20th I got a call from my other brother, Stan, informing me that Larry had laid down for a nap in the afternoon and never woke up. A family friend commented: “He went to bed in his home and woke up in heaven.”

Six months later on August 5th I hosted a farewell dinner for my oldest granddaughter who is moving into her own apartment in San Diego with three friends on her 22nd birthday. I’ve been fortunate to be part of her life from the very beginning.

I was surprised and proud of myself that I didn’t cry when I hugged Lexi longer than usual thinking “I have to remember how this feels.”

The following day the tears came as all the goodbyes of the past came tumbling forward into my present. I remembered telling my daughter goodbye in Denver on September of 1987 as I drove away, U-Haul in tow, headed to California for my new job.

In September my other granddaughter, Sadie, will move into her dorm at UCSB the day before her 18th birthday.

Opportunity abounds with all these goodbyes. I’m sad but excited also to discover what the void will offer me. I’m applying to go to an artist’s residency in the fall to work on my next book.


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