I have friends and family who never wanted to leave the place where they grew up and never did. I used to think they were crazy. Now I think they’re lucky.
Doing the things that I felt I was meant to do has required a lot of goodbyes—leaving home to go to Auburn, leaving Auburn friends to go to Baylor, leaving Baylor friends to work in Alabama, saying goodbye to a whole family of work friends during the recession . . . And like everybody else, I’ve also lost some dear friends and family to sickness.
I used to tell myself that goodbye was just part of life, and it is. But the older I get, the harder it gets, and the more willing I am to give goodbye its due. It’s part of our spiritual nature to long for communion and reunion. No wonder goodbye throws us off balance.
The flip side of goodbye is, of course, hello—welcoming each new day and every new experience. Because life is like my overflowing closet—sometimes old things have to come out before new things can come in.
Daddy used to tell me, “Your life doesn’t start when you finish college—it’s happening right now.” I didn’t know what he meant back then, but I do now. Some of the best moments in life happen in the everyday of it—a hug from a friend right when you need it; the giggling toddler next door, running around the yard wearing nothing but a diaper; grocery-store flowers that appear in a jar on the table; an afternoon rain; homemade ice cream.
Goodbyes get harder with age, but everyday joy gets easier. More Daddy wisdom: “Hey, if I wake up, it’s a good day.”