The Memory of Farewells Always Lingers

I just watched Mum and Dad's car pull from the driveway, as they begin their trip back to Colorado. I don't know why I always get upset when this happens, but then again, I do. As a child, memories of cars leaving driveways always brought on tears.

When I was very small, and if I was able to wake up in time, I would sneak to the library window and watch my father's car leave the driveway as he headed to work through heavy Los Angeles traffic. Sometimes I would even race outside, and squint - before they tore down the orchard, you could see the freeway from our drive - and I would wait until I saw his small white Pinto, just a tiny spec in the distance, zip past. When I spent the weekend with my Nonna, I would run from room to room, watching their car as they pulled away from their apartment building (which usually got me scolded, as I was not to run in her upstairs apartment!) When Nonna left California for Missouri, I stood in the driveway with my Mum, and watched the car pull away. My mother said, "we will never see her again alive" at that point, and in my heart I knew it was true. I could feel it. Suddenly, cars pulling out of driveways grew to great emotional importance to me, and I memorized that feeling, so that I would remember it. In Colorado, I watched their car leave for the final time outside our rental. I waved to them, tears flowing down my face, but in my heart I knew that I would see them again. So, today, in the morning hours, with perfect sunshine and the smell of summer in my nostrils, I hugged my parents and then watched them leave our driveway... waving to me from the car... but, I know that I will see them both again.

I cried, as always. I watched for as long as possible, no longer an adult, but a small child seeing the ones they love most slip down the rough street and turn the corner. I watched until I could no longer see them, and in my mind's eye, I pictured them turning onto Lovers Lane and then heading towards Krogers to pick up Tiger Bars. Suddenly the porch pillar was inadequate to support me, but a gentle touch and then the warm embrace of my husband became the strength that I needed, and we wrapped each other in an embrace. This time, and the goodbye in Colorado, I was not alone. I had him, also silently crying, beside me.

So, here I am, still crying, because I began missing them as soon as they closed the car doors. And, I have been crying off an on, while I did the dishes, and sat down to write this. I tend to cry when my emotional triggers are pushed - getting teary over a commercial isn't so uncommon around here, as I have a tendency towards empathy for those in emotional situations - but my tears today are not ones of grief. Just sadness. Two weeks is not enough time, nor would be two years or two decades, for family to sit together and enjoy each other's company. Had they stayed for a month, my tears would be just as flowing, and in my heart, I would have wanted yet another month to spend with them.

Part of me kicks myself for not journaling activities daily, because I know I could turn to this journal and remember each thing that happened. But, I did not want to give up a second apart from them. Sure, I had the Cramps this week, and yes we spent a few days with her sisters, but my time with my parents is precious to me, and eternity wouldn't even be enough (here I am, repeating myself. Forgive me for that.) So, rather than journal, I pushed it aside. I will try to back track over the next few days, so that I can recapture things.

Cars change, and people age, but the memory of farewells always lingers. There never is a good-bye, as the finality of that statement is too great. "So long", of course, was once a greeting, although its meaning has been lost to time for most people who do not bother to study etymology. Instead, I choose to say "I love you", which comes from my heart and means "I love you, and will always love you, and thank you for all you have given me."

I love you Mum and Dad! I miss you being here!

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