Saying Goodbye

I remember oh so well when I was young and we would visit grandparents. When we would visit my Ma Cook, it was nearly impossible to get away because she kept talking and my mother would be driving away waving and rolling up the windows of the car while Ma Cook was still on the porch just talking away to us all.  And when visiting my Nanny in North Carolina, we would be leaving while she stood on her front porch crying…every single time. At the time, I never understood why she would cry. I mean, we would be back in just a few months!

Recently, we did our semi-annual pilgrimage to Leesville, LA to visit Luke’s parents. They are divorced but both live in the same town. Until just the last couple of visits, they seemed to get along remarkably well. I’ve noticed the last two times in being around Luke’s mother, she’s developed a great disdain for his dad. She can’t help but remark IN FRONT OF HIM about any comments he makes or things he does. It’s quite uncomfortable.

My mother was just getting to the stage in her life where she no longer held back and would let you know EXACTLY how she felt at the drop of a hat right before she got sick. She would do the very things her mother did that drove her nuts like poking you in the side with her pointy fingernail when someone was not behaving as she thought they should or just out right saying out loud for everyone to hear something that was getting on her nerves…no matter how embarrassing.

Nonetheless, these are Luke’s parents and the closest thing to parents I have left. His dad has never been in great health since I met him. He has Lupus, diabetes, and heart problems. And I only know of Luke’s dad what I’ve known since I met him. Luke has his issues with his father stemming from his childhood and his father leaving the marriage when he was young, but the Pop I know is a sweet man that loves seeing his grandchildren. And he is now getting to an age that he can’t keep his house in order because he can’t get around that well and he doesn’t see that well. Poor man.

When we left Leesville, Luke’s mom as always follows us out to the driveway and can’t seem to get us in the car fast enough. She’s a very active woman and has stuff to do! But we went to see his dad after on our way out of town. He chatted with all of us and Luke pushed the kids and me to get into the car. He kept Luke for a long while talking about normal everyday things. When Luke finally broke away and got in the car, Pop told the kids goodbye again and continued to talk…as my Ma Cook used to do. Luke just started the car and began to pull away. My eyes filled with tears as we left because I know he’s a lonely man with lots of regrets and he’s unhealthy. It saddens me because I don’t ever know if we’ll see him again.