You can't say goodbye to a memory.
I remind myself of that a lot these days as I begin to prepare for a huge change in my life, one I'm not sure I'm ready for.
I'm viewing my life a little differently right now, savoring the seasons and the moments a little more than maybe I otherwise would. Knowing that my future, for the next three-quarters of a year or so, will be more about saying goodbye, coping with leaving behind what I know here. Walking into the unknown.
I don't like to say goodbye.
The change has been in the planning stages for several years now; we've been waiting for 2011 to put those plans into action. Next year is year we decided, some time ago, that we would move our family back to England, to my husband's home, back to his people, his family, all the things he has missed so terribly over the last 13 years we have lived in the States. The plans were fine, so long as they were plans, so long as 2011 was in three years, or two. But now, it's next year. And I will admit to being a little bit scared, a little bit overwhelmed, and very uncertain if this is the right thing for us to do. I don't want to move away from my comfortable routine, the stability that four or five years ago my husband and I so desperately needed. The memories.
But you can't say goodbye to a memory.
(Or so I tell myself, not quite believing it's true.)
Today I went to my ob/gyn for my annual check, the same doctor I've had since I was 28 or 29, who saw me through all three pregnancies. I've read that many women fall a little bit in love with their obstetricians during a pregnancy, and I can see why. And I think I did a bit myself. I told my doctor that we are moving next summer, and at the end of my appointment he gave me a hug and wished me well. Which made me cry.
But you know as well as I do that isn't the only thing that made me cry. I will probably never walk the halls of that hospital again, where I was pregnant and in labor with each of my children. I will never enter the room where I first heard their heartbeats and saw them kick. I will never again enter the room where I found out that Ben was dead.
Saying goodbye is not leaving him behind. I know he's here with me, but walking away from those memories, the good ones and the nightmare ones, rips me to pieces. Part of him is in those rooms, as is part of me, part of my other two children.
And once again, it's like leaving Ben, walking out the L&D doors with empty arms and stinging eyes.
I know he's here, inside me wherever I go. But I still must say goodbye, over and over again.