"Goodbye, Everything"

She saw me swimming in the full tide from the living room window.  The sun was going down and she had her pajamas on.  When one is three years old, bedtime on a summer’s night often looks like daytime.

“Pappy!!  Pappy’s swimming!”

I could hear my name and turned to the front of the house.  I waved at her.

A few minutes later out she came in her bathing suit of green polka dots. (Thank you, Mom!) She ran down to the beach and stopped at the water’s edge.  I came in and picked her up and out we went to the full tide.  She clung on to me like she was drowning, drops of salt water on her face, her teeth already chattering in the unseasonably cool summer night.  But, she was not afraid just excited.

We bobbed.  We twirled.  We fished for minnows with our hands.

The sun went down on us in spectacular fashion as we swirled in tidal waters so high they spilled over the beach wall and splashed over the dock landing.

We turned to watch the sun disappear in its orange sorbet way and her warm breath tickled my wet ear, as she said, “Goodbye, Sun!”

“Goodbye, Sun,” I said, too, my eyes now filling up with the ache of infinite sweetness, human and planetary.

I stood up in the water with her still in my arms and started walking toward the beach.

“Goodbye, dock!” She said in a loud voice.

“Goodbye, water!” I said in a louder voice.

She turned her head back to the water as I mounted the stone stairs to the house.

“Goodbye, Everything!” She purred.

I ask you.

What more in this complicated, infinite, sweet universe was left to say after that?

©Pat Coakley 2009


8 comments on “"Goodbye, Everything"”

  1. What is important is very subjective. (warm feeling coming over me).

    • PR..You are a tough one, you. A slight distancing as well as revealing. No wordplay can disguise you completely, you know!!

  2. I read this with a tear in my eye and a bit of a catch in my throat.
    Our dog passed yesterday and goodbyes stink.
    Except to a sweet pea in polka dots who sees goodbyes as see you later.
    I’ll try to embrace that emotion.

    As profound as her Pappy, but doesn’t know it yet.

    • Oh, Bonnie, your dog that played with geikos?? He looked such an amiable soul. The amazing thing is that tomorrow I am planning Part 11 of this and mind reader that you are, the subject is goodbyes that are not see you laters. Amazing. The photo actually says it all but I am going to try to put words to it. Goodbye, sweet ……..(Fill in the name of your doggie).

  3. Wow. This is one of the reasons my blood turns cold at the thought of having children. They’re just so damn good. If I do have kids, I know I’m going to be the world’s most nervous father. God help the bastard who messes with my littl’ins!

  4. “Goodbye, Everything!” She purred.

    ….and hopefully one day in the future she will have the same sort of experience. On the cycle will continue.
    Birth-life-death-birth-life-death-birth-life-death-birth-life-death-birth…. ad infinitum.

  5. Pat Silvertongue.

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