Thursday, May 21, 2009

Bathroom Monologue: Gradients of Goodbye

There are gradients of goodbye. The goodbye one morning as you rushed to the school bus was nothing like the goodbye before you got into the car so mom could drive you to college. Certainly neither was like the goodbye when I stayed with mom after the stroke, while you had to get back to campus. There were those four goodbyes that one day, when we hugged and cried in the morning, then ran into each other outside the bathroom, then you got delayed packing and we had to say some sort of goodbye after lunch, only for you to forget your alarm clock, drive back half an hour later, and impart one last and most embarrassing goodbye. If only I’d known that what was wrong with mom was wrong with you, I wouldn’t have had to say the last goodbye, the one to which you couldn’t respond. And because your life with us was so punctuated by “goodbye,” I wonder why you chose for your headstone to read: “HELLO.”

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