Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Goodbye

Tomorrow is a retirement party. The guest of honor is back in the city, having spent some time away. She's not well. The cancer's been at her for a while and the diagnoses aren't getting better.

For a lot of us, tomorrow will probably be our goodbye. She'll leave town again and that might be it. We're friends, but work friends. We know her husband a little, but not her kids or their kids. If it comes to it, we'll attend her funeral and we'll miss her, but our own lives are busy and other things will fill that space.

But she'll be in town and we'll have a party. We'll hug her, shake her husband's hand, tell her she's looking good. We'll have a few drinks and dinner, toast her, secretly admire her courage in small whispers at the back of the room. We'll drive home to our own families, a little sad, and give them an extra kiss while they sleep. Then we'll lie awake thinking.

And she'll have given us that.

UPDATE: After the meal, after presents were given and speeches were made, she stood in front of us, smiled, and said, "It's easier to be happy than to be sad."

7 comments:

Jennifer said...

I don't envy you your day.

Chuckles said...

Yep, neither do I.

billy pilgrim said...

Suddenly, my week doesn't look so bad.

Kathleen said...

I don't know how to say good bye like that. I'll be hugging my own family extra hard tonight.

Adorable Girlfriend said...

Goodbyes are never easy.

Kathleen said...

"It's easier to be happy than to be sad."


I wish I was that kind of person.

Snag said...

I wish I was that kind of person too. It makes me ashamed of myself if I think about it too much.