Goodbyes are hard to do

Today, my family from Austin and North Carolina left. I see the ones from Austin at least a few times a year, but the others, not so much. My newly married niece has been in town for a little over a week and before that, it had been almost 3 years since I had seen her. I hopefully will see her next year sometime but that seems like a long way away now. When I hugged her bye, I held her tight and said I wasn’t going to let her go so she couldn’t leave. Words I said both seriously and with humor to try to keep myself from crying. Sometime during the hug, I realized she was about to leave and I have no guarantees of a next time. None of us are even promised tomorrow and when saying goodbye, the truth of that rings clearer than ever. She let go before me and I tried to keep her close even as I knew I had to let go. As hard as it is, I had to. I then turned and faced the wall as the tears started to flow. I didn’t want anyone to see or hear me cry so I walked off to bid the tears adieu. I somehow stopped them and was able to gain the courage to keep them from overtaking me. 30 minutes after they left, she sent me a text message saying she missed us already and it made me want to cry again. She responded to this with, “I haven’t stopped.” 😦
I have no idea how I avoided crying again when I read that but I did. I suspect had I not been surrounded with my family from Indiana who are still here until Thursday, I would have burst out into tears. After Thursday I will say bye again and try my best not to cry. I may or may not be successful at not crying in front of people, but I know I will after they leave. I will be left feeling empty and sad missing them until I can get back to the numbness of missing them without the tears coming everytime I think about it. I love seeing my family but I hate ever so much to say goodbye.

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