“How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.”  A.A. Milne


Today I had to say goodbye — so long to be more exact but it was heart wrenching no less. Someone very close to me started a great adventure today and I was among those left with the empty whole that follows such occasions.

My niece Meghan and her husband Sean have moved to Florida – they’re on the road right now to be more exact, with the last few remnants of their physical life jammed into their truck and the pets jumping with excitement from front seat to back and then back again. Unlike those of you who have launched children out of the nest and into adult life, I approached the moment of parting ill prepared.

A.A. Milne’s quote landed in my inbox several months ago, serendipitously soon after I learned that Meghan and Sean were moving – a message from the heavens sent to sooth my sadness, sadness that has deepened as moving day approached. It touched my heart that day and it is tugging at it today. Since then, I have had time to reflect on both the loss and the blessing that it confirms, the two sided coin of love.

How lucky I am to have a family, admittedly small, but one bound together with love, one that fills my life with joy. Like many, our family has characters and stories filling life with drama and comedy alike.

Moments like these are reminders that as poets and mystics have proclaimed for centuries – love is all that matters. How lucky we are to love, how lucky we are when love is reciprocal. Life and its myriad circumstances can change all of the externals, how many miles separate us, who sits at the table for Sunday supper, who can gather for birthdays, holidays and other celebrations. But life can not deprive us of the joy of loving. Life circumstances cannot steal the joy we experience when those we love soar to fulfill their dreams.

In honesty, even loving presents paradoxical choice. Do we choose to close the whole when love is stretched, tested or worse yet lost; or do we decide to find new ways to express love? Do we allow sadness or bitterness to fester and grow or do we remind ourselves how lucky we are to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard? Can we muster the strength to wipe away the tears, pull ourselves together and continue to love despite the awareness that loving hurts; yes, it hurts so much sometimes that one is left wondering is it really worth it?

As I reach for another tissue to wipe away my tears, I know that A.A. Milne is right — “how lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.” . . . Joanne


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