I don’t want you to go. When I wake up, you’ll be gone. I’ll cry over the pot of coffee because you won’t be here to drink a cup of dark roast.
I’ll miss you. I love you.
Do you have to go?
Saying goodbye is all about the sounds. For me, it’s the noises that will change, the patterns of the sounds.
Life will get quiet, C.
Goodbye to the brewing coffee, each new pot beepbeepbeep at 4, 6, and 8 a.m.
Goodbye to the shower that whines when the whole family insists on using water at exactly the same time. AHH!!! Goodbye to the accidental flush.
Goodbye to the five TVs on volume 70 in every room of the house. Goodbye Matt Lauer and the 5 o’clock terrorism reports and the sports announcers—I never did bother to learn their names.
Goodbye to the pacing back and forth, back and forth with arms crossed. “I’m so busy…huff…I’m so busy.” (You’re really great at balance.)
Goodbye to the kitchen appliances that each sing a different tune. Goodbye to the fridge that yells when you can’t decide between Muscle Milk or three scoops of Rocky Road.
Goodbye to the purring—but mostly hissing—of the cats. Goodbye to the spoons clanking the ice cream bowls with The Diva cat waiting to lick it clean. I say I won’t miss it, but I will. Every single puking hairball.
Goodbye to the dragging of potted plants to their designated spots for basking in the sun. Goodbye to the sloshing of water—oh, the bottles of water. WHOSE IS THIS?! STOP LEAVING THEM ALL OVER THE HOUSE WITH ONLY A SIP LEFT!
Goodbye to the chorus of cicadas, and the trumpeting of the high school marching band warming up for football season. Goodbye to the rolling of trash cans down the driveways. Because rolling trash cans is only a suburb thing.
Goodbye to the cars speeding in the distance. Think that’s loud now? Just wait until I go to the city which plays a daily soundtrack of sirens.
Goodbye to the BUCKET! sneezes, and the old man ringtone. HUH?! WHAT?!
Goodbye to the sawing logs or the catching flies or the whatever you want to call it when you couldn’t make it past the opening credits. WHAT’D I MISS?
Goodbye to the “Take your phone!” and the “When will you be home?”
Life gets quiet, C. No one will ask me when I’ll be home.
C, I’m not saying this is easy, for you or for me. What I’m saying is, we’ve done harder and bigger goodbyes.
They’re supposed to get easier with age, these goodbyes, but I’d say they get deeper with time.
Nobody likes goodbyes, C.
I try to remind myself of the days of the clipclopclipclop of horse hooves. And carrier pigeons flying into windows. Yes, when we’re feeling blue, think about those pigeons and how hard they had to work just to lose a message or splatter into the wrong window.
Give thanks that we’re so far beyond the horses and the pigeons.
Here’s the thing, C – you get to keep most of the familiar sounds. I have to go learn new sounds. New patterns. New rhythms.
I’ll try my best to recreate the familiar. To make my own sounds that remind me of our rhythms.
I’ll try, I’ll try, I’ll try. Will you?
The door won’t get stuck the same, or click in the same, or nudge open the same, depending on which one you open. The cats won’t scratch on the door to go in and out every five minutes. The coffee pot won’t brew quite the same. But I’ll try, I’ll try, I’ll try.
Will you? Will you try?
Do I have to go? The short answer is yes.
The long answer is no. But also yes, mixed with no, mixed with I’m sorry, mixed with for now.
I know the sounds of coming, C. The garage door opening. The car pulling in the driveway. The door opening.
I know the sounds of going. The suitcases zippering. The door opening. The car pulling away.
And then there’s the tears. I know the sound of tears, Crying.
I love you, C. You’re stronger and braver than you think. I’ll be back soon for another cup of dark roast. Just make sure it’s a hot cup. Nobody likes a cold cup of coffee.
Leaving (For Now)