We have said “goodbye” so many times over the past couple of months, but I always knew there would be one last goodbye before she left…
My dear friend, Mary, is moving to Maine with her hubbie. They moved out of their house (only one house between us) and into temporary housing a couple of months ago. We said goodbye. The neighbors had a going away party. We said goodbye. We got our little “girl’s group” together for one last coffee. We said goodbye. Went out for Indian food with our hubbies, one last time. We said goodbye. Finally – we met up briefly at a neighbor’s house last night for one final goodbye…
I cried each time, but tried to keep it “polite and reasonable”. I reserved my gut wrenching “throw yourself on the floor” sobs for private home time. The truth is – Mary doesn’t do the whole crying thing. She is “matter-of-fact”, positive and reasonable… on just about everything. Her determination and positive “never-give-up” attitude helped her survive cancer. Three times. Oh ya… and a miracle. You see, “medically”… Mary really should not be here. Doctors still have no explanation as to how or why she survived her most serious bout with cancer. But I do.
And so my heart is filled with an explosive mixture of happy and sad, all combusting within me at the same time. I am (selfishly) very deep down in my soul sad. But, in the same breath, I am absolutely ecstatic for Mary. She so deserves this happiness. She has been given the precious gift of time to follow her dreams. And that is exactly what she is doing. She is not the kind to sit around worrying and “what iffing”. She appreciates and savors each moment as it is in front of her. I’m gonna let you in on a little secret, however; She’s not perfect. She does have one well known shortcoming…. Mary loves doughnuts. A lot.
So this morning I am (sobbing) in the shower (which, by the way, works very well). We said our final goodbyes last night. Right…? No! I have to see her one more time. One more hug. One more goodbye. So I get an idea. Unfortunately for Mary, I know where she is going to be at exactly 9:30. I have one stop to make on the way there and miss her by a hair. Panic mode sets in. In the end, we meet briefly in a grocery store parking lot for a quick chat and one more hug. I present her with one little gift for the road… doughnuts.
And we say our final, final goodbye.
She tells me “No crying” (ya. right.) and I get back in my car and watch as her car disappears from my rear view mirror. As she drives away, I realize that she has left me with a hole in my heart… and I believe it to be about the size of a doughnut hole.