I would have to say that my first experience with good-byes took place at the age of 8. Our family left the lush, fertile Salt Lake Valley for the dry, desert oil field located in Rangely, Colorado. We left behind a small new home in suburbia, maternal extended family, friends, neighbors and a very happy childhood.
Experience #2 came with graduation from Rangely High School. By now I had come to love the desert and the beauty of the oil field. I loved the house on the hill, the neighbors and my friends. It was a wonderful time of life and I found graduating a rather difficult good-bye!
Experience #3 came when I left the Belgium Brussels mission. After serving the people of France and Belgium for 18 months I had come to love the people and the countries. I loved the language, the cobblestones, the crazy driving habits, the shops, the missionary spirit and camaraderie. but most of all the Belge and French people.
Years later I would be taking my own children to the Missionary Training Center to say my good-byes. Knowing full well when they returned life would not be the same. They would return as adults, attend Utah State University, find a spouse and begin life on their own.
A very difficult good-bye took place in the year 2000 when I said good-bye to my parents. My father on the 6th of July and my mother on October 27th. While bathing her one morning I had remarked that for Halloween she was going as a skeleton! She had lost so much weight. She thought that was funny and agreed. She was buried on Oct. 31st. She had a change of costume. She went as an angel!
My most recent good-bye took place in Salt Lake at the Utah National Guard Air Base. My youngest son would be leaving us for a year or so for tour of duty in Afghanistan. Seeing the airplane close and in full view and seeing all the men in army uniforms was quite an emotional moment. I had taken 3 children to the MTC to say good-bye for 18 to 24 months and not shed one tear! Now it was a different scene! Yes, I did shed some tears and I do not cry easily!! I did not have my camera with me, but KSL had theirs and it was much better than mine!! You can watch Phillip and Kristina on:
Type this in search: 150 National Guard soldiers deploying to Afghanistan and click the video.
"How blessed I have been in life to have someone that makes saying goodbye so hard." ~Carol Sobieski and Thomas Meehan, Annie
Yes, my life has been extremely blessed. I also recognize that without those good-byes I would not have hellos. Saying good-bye to Kearns meant saying hello to Rangely. Saying good-bye to Rangely meant saying hello to B.Y.U., France and Belgium. Saying goodby to France and Belgium meant saying hello to Scott and Delta. Saying good-bye to Matthew, Jonathan, Alizabeth and Phillip meant saying hello to Laura, Melanie, Ben, Kristina and 9 little grandchildren with 3 on the way! As difficult as good-byes may be I would not ask to do without them.
Goodbye for now and thanks to all for blessing my life!