I've never liked goodbyes, since long before Ben died. But in the seven years since he died, goodbyes have gotten a lot harder to say because they bring back his life, and death, the first and only moments we had with him to tell him hello and goodbye all at once.
My family and I are in Pennsylvania right now, getting ready to have a party for my parents' 50th wedding anniversary. This weekend also marks the last time we'll be seeing my family for quite a while, for in 11 days we are moving to England to begin a new life. In some ways an old life, too, as my husband is British, and we met, and were married, there nearly 15 years ago. We spent the first year of our marriage living and working in England until my husband was transferred to Ohio by his company. Thirteen years later, we are going back.
And tomorrow I have to say goodbye to my family, to our cats, who will be moving to Massachusetts to live with my sister, say goodbye to another chapter of my life. In a way, I feel I am leaving Ben behind too, for the only place I ever knew him was in Ohio, in the hospital where I delivered him and kissed him goodbye. I know I am not leaving him, but thoughts of pulling away from the hospital doors on the afternoon of the day he was born haunt me. They always have. I left him, not because I wanted to, not because I had any choice. Those moments ripped me apart and I've never been the same since.
And I wonder where I'll find him now, for this is where Ben is, where I feel him with me on those few occasions when I do feel him. I hope I'll find him again, 3,500 miles away, that those feelings won't be left behind.
But today, I just don't know.