Goodbyes are never easy. Goodbyes are heartbreaking and agonizing. Saying good-bye to someone you love means leaving them.
Sometimes I think about the way unexpected things seem to happen. Even when someone says, "Bye, see you tomorrow," there's never really a guarantee that I will. So I like to make my goodbye's mean something.
I remember all the years at camp when being around someone for an entire week brought you so close together. After living in the same cabin and doing all the same activities, you get used to having these people around. And then as soon as you acquire that unbreakable bond of friendship, it's time to go home.
There were always hugs and tears, and exchanging of phone numbers. We never said goodbye without a promise of keeping in touch. For the first few weeks apart we would e-mail, IM, sometimes share a phone call or two. But not being with your cabin-mates makes them seem so far away and we would eventually lose touch.
I remember one girl in particular, Katie. From the first hour of camp we hit it off. We hung out all week, playing four square, swimming, doing everything together. We scoped out guys and got dates to the dance and helped do each other's hair when the day came.
Soon the last day of camp arrived and we woke up and went to breakfast together, sad to be leaving. After breakfast we had to pack up and wait for our parents. We gave each other our e-mails and phone numbers. We took pictures together and had one last hug. We promised to stay in touch. This time it felt like a real promise.
But Katie never used her e-mail and her replies were rare. Nobody ever answered her phone and soon it became impossible to even talk to her once a month. It was sad, I knew I would never see someone I was close to ever again.
Goodbyes are sometimes like a promise that you'll never see each other again.
Today was the last day of Big Brothers Big Sisters. I started to say goodbye, only to be latched onto and soaked with tears. They didn't want me to leave. I promised to come back next year, and they promised too, but three long months apart is sometimes like an eternity to a six year old.
I wanted to cry.
It's hard for me to say goodbye to kids I love, that I've seen every Monday for the past year. It broke my heart.
I'm going to make a huge effort to keep in touch, to see them this summer. But you never know.
You never know what might happen, you never know the circumstances. I can't be sure that I'll ever see these kids that I love so dearly ever again. I can't make any promises that I can promise to keep. I can't promise to talk to them or be with them again.
I can't promise.