Miss M had to say goodbye today. Yet again…
As did I.
As I prepared to journey to CT this morning to bring Miss M “home”, I was completely caught off guard by the raw emotion that welled within me as I wrote a farewell and thank you to Miss M’s school. The tears rolled down my cheeks and onto the card as I tried to put into words the depth of my gratitude. I swear it felt as if I was saying goodbye to Terri all over again…
As I struggled to pull myself together I thought, “If this is how I feel, imagine how Miss M is feeling?? How in God’s name am I going to help her through this day?”
Traveling to CT I sifted through the pain. In and out. My pain. Miss M’s pain. So intertwined yet distinct at the same time…
And then I was there. And Miss M and her BFF needed to be fed. So off we went to grab some food and play at McCook Park one last time.
Miss M and I then made our way to Lillie B to say goodbye to her teachers. To the “village of mothers” who mothered her, nurtured her love of learning, cheered her on through her challenges, and provided just the right “holding environment” which enabled Miss M to live through the most difficult time in her life.
Hugs, and smiles and presents abounded. As did the love. And the promise to stay in touch.
The neighborhood goodbye pizza party followed. Music. Laughter. More presents. More love. Miss M was even serenaded by her BFF’s big sister, Sarah, with her own rendition of “When You’re Gone” from the movie, Pitch Perfect, cup tapping and all…
Pictures were taken, my car was packed to the hilt, kisses and hugs were given.
And then it was time…
Papai would be staying till Thursday to finish packing but it was time for Miss M and I to leave. I took her inside one last time to say goodbye to the house.
And it finally hit her.
I stroked her hair as she held onto the wall, sobbing. And I cried right along with her. It’s mind boggling how quickly we can be transported back to that deep and searing grief. To that all too familiar space in the depth of your being where we hold our departed loved ones.
In the end, there’s no way around it. You just have to go through.
So we did.
We went into every room taking pictures for a memory book. Eventually we made our way back outside where she melted into Papai’s arms.
On the way home our tears slowly subsided. She opened the gift I bought her and we listened to the “Kissing Hand”. As she read along, she sucked on the enormous lollipop her teacher had given her.
I put Pandora on; her new favorite station is Kelly Clarkson, her new favorite song, “Since U Been Gone”. I silently begged Terri to “play” it for us, just as she had the day Miss M visited her new school in Dartmouth.
At one point, Miss M commented, “These songs are talking about our day.” The name of the song? “Home…”
“You’re right,” I replied. “I think it’s Mamãe’s way of telling us she understands we are sad about leaving CT but she is so happy you are moving to Dartmouth. And you know what honey? Home is really where the people you love are. And Mamãe is always with you. No matter where you are.”
An hour later we finally turned onto my road. The first few chords of the next song began. My eyes darted to the screen.
“Since U Been Gone…”
I pumped up the volume, we high fived and grabbed hold of each other, and danced and sang at the top of our lungs all the way home.
We made it through.