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Hopeful Goodbyes

It was about 3:00 in the morning and I was listening to my grandson finish packing his belongings before heading back to college.

Even though he had to get up in three hours, I knew he’d still try and get a couple hours of sleep before his ride came. I could already picture him groggily walking out the door.

We’d soon be saying goodbye. Hopefully he’d remember my big hug.

As I listened to him pack his things, I thought about his early childhood years, when tears would slip down his cheeks as he left our cabin to go back home, now I knew how he felt.

And isn’t life just a steady lineup of goodbyes? Parents say goodbye to the fleeting newborn weeks. Then too quickly, it’s goodbye to childhood.

Teens think it will never happen, but soon they say goodbye to their childhood home. In their newly minted adult excitement, they may not realize it won’t ever be the same again. And it isn’t.

I’ve said plenty of goodbyes in my life, and so have you.

But the best goodbyes are the ones filled with hope. I hope for my grandson’s next semester. I hope for his future plans. I hope he knows how much he’s loved.

I watched him leave and then stayed to watch the taillights vanish down the road.

Hope helps your heart when the one you love is absent.

I’ve learned that having hope doesn’t mean you’ll know what will happen next.

But I’ve also learned that what builds hope is a whole lot of prayer.

And that makes saying goodbye easier.


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