Truthfully girls, I hate goodbyes. I don’t just hate them. I avoid them. I pretend they are not there. I ignore the person who is leaving before they even leave so I can forget that I have to say goodbye. I hate them. And I hate them some more.
I want to have one brief goodbye. I don’t want to go to any dumb go-away party so I can pretend that it’s just like old times and the person really isn’t leaving. I don’t want to say goodbye two or three times. Once with family, once with the girls, once you and me. Just leave, will you!
I want to have about 15 or 20 minutes to spill my guts, tell you I love you, hug you and kiss you, shed salty tears down my cheeks and on yours. I want you to remember how much I love you and get the heck on your way. Don’t linger more than a minute or two. Smile back at me and get in your car and leave!
So, I am not like Peter. I am not going to forbid you to leave. Matthew 16:22. Because, yes, I get it. God has a plan for you. An (initially) rather lame plan that makes you far from me. But I do get it so I will let you go.
I am not like James and John. I won’t demand that you take me with you or put me in your spare bedroom where you are going. Mark 10:35-40. I only want an invitation to stay with you a few times a year and to hear your voice regularly.
I hate goodbyes because I love you so much. I gave you sacred parts of me while you were here. And as I watch you prepare to go and then go, I love you too much to take back the parts of myself that I have already given you. So, I hold onto you like a hook on a fishing line until you leave state lines. Then, instead of taking the bait and swimming off. I let you pull off of a piece of my flesh as you go. I want you to keep a good, juicy chunk of my heart so you don’t feel lonely on your journey.
That is why I hate goodbyes. They leave me broken for a while, but I just love you so much. And I can’t help it. So, please, leave if you have to. Don’t ask me why I won’t talk to you. If you invite me to your stupid go-away party, I’ll come and either act fake and refuse to face the facts or won’t talk to you at all. And, don’t expect me to plan the party either, because I won’t. So, there you have it. Goodbye.