More Than Goodbye
It was so much more than simply saying goodbye to my husband for a few days, or a week, or several. It was more than knowing I would be facing an empty house coming home from work, or going to bed alone every night.
Hugging Taylor goodbye at the airport on Sunday was the concrete realization that so much that we have hoped for has, thus far, been withheld. It was saying goodbye to the hope we fostered for so long, even after March 21, of taking our baby girl home with us soon. It was saying goodbye to long summer days at the lake house, introducing her sweet face to all our family and friends, bringing her to church, to weddings, baptizing her, family pictures.. becoming a family at last. At long last.
As the wheels of the plane left the Tarmac in Seattle, I knew in my heart that I had been ignoring the difficulty of a summer on my own. Tears streamed down my face as the city lights grew dim. All weekend, though it was a blessing to be with Taylor for a couple more days, a feeling of dread had been growing in the pit of my stomach. Knowing this moment would come, not wanting to acknowledge it. It was so much more than just saying goodbye.
This is not to say, of course, that I don’t believe that these things cannot come to be, that our hopes won’t be realized. No, in the face of hardship we cling ever more dearly to the promise of God. I do believe in the good things He has shown us.
This is just another part in my grieving, another step on the way.
It will be hard for me to visit the Babe on my own, week after week, especially when my heart is in two separate places, neither home with me. To be apart from her, and apart from him… How can a heart bear that?
What will it be like for Taylor, so far away from his wife and his baby girl? Will he think about her smile everyday, about how she is learning to be tickled and to laugh without him? Will he go to bed at night with empty arms, empty like mine, hoping dreams of a crowded bed come true quickly? Oh! what we would give to have no room in our bed!
At liturgy on Saturday, Abraham asked of the Lord, “How can I bear, unaided, this burden you have placed upon me?” My heart aches, Lord. My soul is thirsty with this desire you have given me, for motherhood, for family, for wholeness. Unaided, I would be lost. How can I bear it?
And then the response, in Father’s homily:
It is not yours to know. You are to adore. You are to Love.
And in a way, that is so much more than knowing.