It was 3:30am on a cool and drizzly Monday morning and I was sitting in the parking lot of the airport getting ready to say goodbye to my niece Emily who was preparing to start another work term away on the Great Lakes. My sister Margie got out to help with the bags but Emily stayed on for a minute. We chatted briefly. I turned to her, told her to have fun, stay safe and that I loved her, but I didn’t say goodbye. Then I watched as they walked across the road and into the ‘Departures’ area of the airport, dragging heavy bags behind them. While I’m waiting for Margie to return, a pick up truck pulls in next to me, two people exit the vehicle and proceed to ‘Departures’. A few minutes later one of the two people returns and drives off in the truck. In front of me a car pulls up in the temporary parking for ‘drop offs’ and 2 people exit the vehicle. He gets his bag from the back, they stop to kiss and share a long embrace. As he walks away she heads back to the car but in a split second she turns around and reaches out to touch his arm. It’s too late – he’s already heading towards ‘Departures’, his back to her. Her hand drops to her side and she quickly gets in the car. Then just like that the car was gone again.
Goodbyes are never easy whether you are seeing someone off at the airport, holding the hand of a loved one who may be at the end of their life’s journey or simply heading home after spending quality time with family and friends. Mom always said “Don’t say goodbye”; probably because goodbye seems too final and makes it feel like you’ll never see the other person ever again. In some cases I guess that’s true, maybe there are people that you never want to lay eyes on ever again. In that case we could say good riddance, but I digress!
Another goodbye I always have trouble with is saying goodbye to summer. Not that our summer of 2023 was that fantastic weather-wise but still we didn’t have to worry about freezing cold temperatures and snow, because we all know it’s coming sooner rather than later. Here’s a strange little ritual that I’d do every year when the wild rose bushes in our yard would finish blooming for the season: I would go out and pick the best rose bloom I could find and just sit and smell it and scrunch it in my hand until it was barely recognizable as a flower. My reason for doing this? I thought to myself, “What if I die before next summer and this could be the last time I’ll ever get to smell a wild rose?” Morbid, I know. My own way of saying goodbye I guess. On that note, here are a few pictures from our much-too-short summer. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed snapping them. 🙂
As you may know, animals hold a special place in my heart. We’ve always had pets in the house growing up and even into adulthood, we had Lucky and Whiskers up until a few years back when they crossed the rainbow bridge. My sister’s cat Smokey came to stay with us for a while this past year. She was an older cat but it didn’t take long for her to adapt to her new surroundings. We became quite attached to her. She was such an affectionate cat and seemed human-like at times. Sadly, she passed away in the early part of summer. I must’ve taken hundreds of pictures of Smokey during her stay here. We miss her dearly.
Just a few short months ago we bid a fond farewell to Fr. John Peddle, at the grand age of 91.
Fr. John, as he was affectionately known, was the beating heart of the Peddle family. You could always count on him to be present for every wedding, baptism, funeral and family gathering. In my upbringing you were taught to respect and hold a person of the cloth in high regard. It was no different with Fr. John. I was always intimidated by him and felt I had to be on my best behavior whenever he was around. As those closest to me can attest, I can often let go a few choice curse words when the mood strikes, so I always had to be extra vigilant in his presence. I was in awe at the way his siblings always called him Fr. John and not just plain and simple ‘John’. Even his mother called him Fr. John. If that’s not a sign of respect I don’t know what is. Twenty six years ago when his namesake John and I got married, guess who performed the ceremony? Fr. John. We originally had a wedding date picked out in August but he couldn’t make it so we changed our date. We would only settle for the best. One particular point during the wedding mass when we were kneeling in front of him to receive a blessing, he saw John was sweating bullets. Fr. John reached down, patted the sweat from John’s brow, pretended to shake it off and continued on with the prayer, causing a chuckle to spread throughout the crowd. As the years went on I’d learned to see Fr. John the man, not only the priest. As I said, he dearly loved his family get-togethers, a good game of Crib and caring for the family home in his beloved Tilton. It was always a pleasure to be in his company. He was the only person I allowed to call me “Aundrea”, that’s how he pronounced it. I never corrected him. The world has lost a beautiful soul and he is missed beyond measure. Until we meet again…
So, remember those wild roses I mentioned earlier? Well, this last summer I didn’t do that. The blooms came and went and I enjoyed them while they lasted. I figured it’s best to live in the moment and not worry about the what-ifs that may or may not come our way. Goodbyes are hard. So instead of goodbye how about see ya later, talk soon, bye for now or…
Until Next Time,