Monday, April 23, 2012

Goodbyes

Isn't it interesting how all worlds seem to connect? Lately a lot of the blogs I follow have been talking about goodbyes. Specifically with family members. I was going to write about something totally different this week and then I experienced my own goodbye, and my heart has compelled me to write about it.
A few weeks ago I said goodbye to my brother-in-law. He is moving to England. He will be the furthest away of all the family members.  It will be so strange to go home to visit and not have him there with his quick smile and witty observations (always said under his breath)  there will be a definite hole there. 
     My brother in law is a quiet person. He comes from quiet people, as I have discussed before. He is also shy, so I felt a kinship with him, since I am shy myself.  But his spirit/aura/presence, call it what you will, has always been there quietly and gently announcing him.
A constant gentle and loving presence, never forceful or overbearing.
     You know what I mean, something that has always been there and now it will be gone. Obviously not forever! The hope is to see him a few times a year, but after having been there always...it will be WEIRD.
He has been there from the beginning, and by beginning I mean my beginnings with my husbands family. 
15 years. I have known him for 15 years. In that length of time he has become my family, my brother, as real and dear to my as my own brother is. We have been through good times and bad times. Extreme grief and Joy. And I am not even going to mention the time when...well let's just say he is probably scarred for life. ;)
     He is closest in age to my husband and their youngest sister, so he was always there, around the house.  He keeps me up to date on the latest pop culture trends, because honestly other than knowing that Yo Gabba Gabba is the hottest thing for the under 12 set I am pretty out of the loop. His love of Marilyn Monroe is legendary.  In fact I watched Some Like it Hot the first time with him.  We share a love of The Beatles and he makes the BEST bread pudding on the planet, at least in my opinion! 
     Now he will be an entire continent away.  And it makes me quite maudlin.
     I console myself with the fact that he is going to be with his fiance. He is the happiest I have ever seen him, and he now has a quiet confidence he never had before. This makes my heart so happy. Knowing he is so happy and in love and the wonderful changes it has brought about in him. On the other side of that coin of course is the worry that he will have his heart broken, but he is getting married and I must believe in his happily ever after as much as I believe in my own!
So we hung out, talked about his upcoming new life in his new home, and in the end we hugged tightly knowing it would be a year before we saw him again. There is of course Facebook and Skype and email, but it is never really the same is it? However I am grateful for these technologies which allow us to connect over the vast physical distance that separates us.
   And no goodbye is final, not even the last and greatest one. We all meet again, eventually. So we look forward to the day when we can embrace him again and ply him with questions about England over a cuppa. 
Until then we will have to fill that missing piece in us with the memories and laughter and Skype dates. 
And hey now I have a far more compelling reason to visit England, a country I have always wanted to see!
How do you handle tough goodbyes?

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