So how do you say goodbye?
That’s not a generic question, but a specific one: How do you, personally, say goodbye?
Some of us do it easily, barely blinking. Some have it harder, with tears and fears, and some, I think, do it over time. For those (like me) who find it relatively easy, but who then get hit with the separation days or weeks later, it helps to have a party.
Or maybe it helps to have a party for everyone. Nicki cries at goodbye’s, but I don’t. I cry for other things (sensitive new-age guy that I am, I’ve never been averse to tears when they come), but “Farewell” isn’t one of them.
But whatever the style, to cry or not to cry, having a party seems to make the parting both sweeter and harder, smoother and yet more focused…
We had something like 25 people come down to the dock to wish us well last night – a few more than we could fit aboard the good ship Sionna”! Nicki and I brought the boat in from the mooring and tied up at the Public Landing (free tie-up for the first 2 hours), topped up the batteries since we had the engine running, and made hot water to boot, welcome for my morning constitutional. Folks started trickling in about 4:30pm, and by 5 we had a crowd going. A few folks brought Bon Voyage gifts of consumables, knowing of our lack of storage space, and we introduced “Splits”, our ship’s mascot.
So yeah, there’s a story there: When I turned 50, I asked Nicki NOT to have someone put 50 pink flamingoes in our front lawn to commemorate the occasion. Instead, she found this poor fellow and presented him to me in leu of… Naturally he’s coming with us!
So that’s how we say goodbye. I grin and hug and soak up the love of the best friends in the world, Nicki smiles and hugs and cries with the best friends in the world. Once the crowd had gone, we took the boat out to the mooring, collapsed in the cockpit, and soaked in the reality of it all. No shore home, no cars, no KEYS! I handed off all my keys to the dear friends that agreed to be the keepers of such things.
It feels lighter. It feels good.