Just look up wimp in Webster's Dictionary and you'll see my name as a reference. This isn't a statement of self-deprication, it's a wry reality.
The truth is, goodbyes just aren't good to me. The word hangs in the doorway like a cheap tattered grey shawl. Just skulking in the corner with a sardonic grin while I pry myself away from the window pane, and force my hand frozen in mid wave down to my side. It doesn't leave when I throw laundry into the washer. It loiters while I fix meals or sweep floors. Goodbye is the lingering reminder that someone is gone. It's here and present right now as I type.
Bill kissed and held me early this morning while most others would have only just yielded to a deep sleep. He was dressed and heading out the door to catch a shuttle to the airport. His carefully selected cologne hung in the air around me like a cloud lulling me back to sleep. When our boys came charging into the room several hours later the scent was gone but his goodbye had stayed behind. I am accustomed to Bill returning the blinking tots to their beds for another few moments of rest, but it was left to me to clumsily perform this unwelcome task. Mornings aren’t very cooperative with me, as it is, so I am often picking my battles with it.
And what a cowardly warrior I am.
Someday I might properly defy loneliness by increasing my productivity. That would, of course, take quite a domestic form such as mending clothes, small household repairs, and taking stock of food and sundry items. I would rally my troops – aka kiddos – and get out of the house, take walks, and explore the territory. Later in the day we would plot more effective strategies of combating boredom and avoid the obvious questions, “Where is Daddy?”, “When is Daddy coming home?”, or “Why isn’t Daddy here?” I would plant enticing diversions, videos, coloring books, and yummy snacks throwing off the scent of sighs, groans, and huffs. Then the goodbye brazenly draped at our home’s entrance wouldn’t even get a second glance.
But, oh no, I couldn’t be that brave, that stalwart, or heroic.
I had to succumb to online meanderings between guilt trips to the sink full of dishes. I sheepishly ducked behind my cup of Market Spice tea, Bill’s favorite, and sucked on a cinnamon candy. I have even left the family room in overwhelming disarray. But, most shameful of all my failed attempts, I surrendered to mail-order shopping with Yves Rocher. And I’m entirely convinced, now, that the goodbye has moved from the doorway and is holding the remote control.