I have, in my day delivered a shameful amount of meaningless hellos. The word itself is but a servant to the mechanical function of life within the constraints of the mindless delegation of responsibility. What I mean to say is that hellos are disproportionately easy compared to how goodbyes are so hard and I believe that we are screwing something up by living this way.
I had to say goodbye to my dog Sara in November of 2019. I took her into the vet for what I thought was a blatter infection only to discover that she was in fact riddled with cancer. She was unable to pass urine which led to a level of discomfort that prevented her from drinking or eating. When the vet informed me that we would have to put her down, I took the news in stride, swallowing the pit that had suddenly formed in the bottom of my stomach. We took a night to say goodbye to her and the next morning on the way to her Euthanasia I stopped at McDonald’s for a cheeseburger to share with her as a final goodbye. She was in such miserable condition that she couldn’t touch it and I sat on the tailgate of my truck, holding her and sobbing like a baby. My wife came with me to the vet and we held her together as the vet gave her a sedative which put her to sleep and then another to end her suffering. We held a ceremony as a family and buried her in the backyard by the pirate fort.
I regret all the hikes that we didn’t take with Sara.
My mom had surgery today and thank God it was successful. All day long I was nervous until my dad finally called to tell me that she was alright. Mostly, what occurred to me today was the number of times that I didn’t tell my mom how much I love her. How many hellos have I wasted?
This is, I suppose just an unintended casualty of our poorly evolved brains which tend to override our timid hearts. I’d like to course correct this by saying hello as I really mean it. I’d like to say hello as the sun rises with a gentle glow upon the horizon that bursts forth in brilliantly warm shades of untethered magnificence. I want to say hello that feels good in all the ways that goodbye feels bad.
Tomorrow is ever the gift for the hopeful but now will forever be the joy of the thankful. I am both hopeful for tomorrow and thankful for right now.