The word “goodbye” has many aliases, from “so long” to “see ya later alligator”. The first time I heard the phrase “Godspeed”, I wondered if it was faster than a flash or two shakes of a lamb's tail...or was it three shakes, can't remember.
I do remember my first day of school, my mother walked me to my classroom. We met my teacher, Mrs. Vidrine, an older lady with horn-rimmed glasses and way too much lipstick. I sat in my desk which was located on the far end of the doorway. Mrs. Vidrine began roll call. I looked toward the door and my mother stood just outside and she smiled at me and waved. I smiled and waved back. While the teacher was introducing herself to the class, I turned and looked at the door....and my mother was not there. A panic set in. She wasn't waving “hi” to me, she was waving goodbye! I immediately got up and sprinted toward the door and Mrs. Vidrine intercepted me halfway to freedom. She shuffled me back to my desk. Snickers could be heard from some of the other students. I didn't cry, but there was a knot of confusion welled up in my chest. It was painful, to say the least. Soon, days later, my mother would drop me off at school, no worries, it was just a “see ya later”.
11 years later, I said goodbye to my mother as they closed her casket, her battle with Hodgkins disease was over.
I'm 58 years old and every Mother's Day, I feel a shadow of that same knot of confusion and pain. I look to the doorway...and she's not there.
Hug your mother like you will never let go, because once she's gone, you never will let go.