Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

It's Hard to Say Bye, Easy to Say 'I Love You'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

It's Hard to Say Bye, Easy to Say 'I Love You'

Article excerpt

Some things get easier to say with age. "I love you," for example, and "I am sorry."

I've gotten pretty good at saying those things. Also, "Have you seen my glasses?" and "Can you speak a bit louder?"

But I'm still not much good at saying goodbye. I try, but the words get stuck in my throat and I end up spitting them out like a mouthful of Listerine.

Is there ever a good way to say goodbye?

The trip to California was short but sweet, just a few days in Monterey to see my children and grandchildren and celebrate my grandson's birthday.

Randy turned 2, as he will gladly tell you ("I 2!") and show you by holding up five fingers. His swim party was a roaring success. I didn't even have to get wet, as pool duty was covered by his mom and his dad and his other grandma, Saint Ro Ro.

I slept at Randy's house (so he could knock on my door at 6 a.m. and beg me to come blow bubbles), but I also hung out with Henry, Randy's cousin, my grandson, who is almost 1.

Henry likes me to sit on the floor while he crawls around looking for things he shouldn't put in his mouth. He especially likes it if I throw a blanket over my head. I try not to take it personally. Sooner or later he rips the blanket off and laughs when he sees me. I laugh, too. We do it over and over and it just keeps getting funnier.

I could blow bubbles with Randy and wear a blanket for Henry forever. But the next time I see them -- soon, but not soon enough - - those two little boys will be a little less little. Bubbles and blankets will soon be replaced by much bigger things.

Children don't wait for you to spend time with them. They grow up, with or without you.

If I'm not around, how will they know that I love them?

I thought of that as I tried to tell them goodbye. "Your nana loves you," I said. "She has to go away, but she'll come back."

Randy made a sad face, the kind he makes when he doesn't want to go to bed. …

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