For lack of a better word, I suck at goodbyes. I'm lousy at them. Ask FuzzyBear who I ducked out on at the last MilBlogging conference without allowing her to say goodbye. Ask any of the people with whom I attended last years National Military Family Association conference. I ducked out there too.
When we were packed up and ready to drive out of Alaska (our first duty station), I was a basket case because I had told some good friends of ours that we would swing by and say goodbye before we left. I was dreading it. Literally, my stomach was tied up in knots. I cannot tell you the relief I felt when I called and found out that their youngest child had a fever and it really wouldn't be a good idea for us to expose ourselves to those germs right before setting off on a 6,000 mile, 30 day road trip. *whew*
Please do not misconstrue my feelings here. The reason I am so lousy at goodbyes is not because I don't care about the people I am leaving. Actually, the opposite is true. I am lousy at goodbyes because they hurt SO MUCH. It's like pouring salt on an already festering wound. Leaving is hard enough. To have to say "goodbye" on top of that just tears me up.
I cannot stand "going away parties" or "Hail and Farewells" for this reason. Please do not force me to turn a departure into a party. It's not. It sucks and I hate it and I'd much rather not try to celebrate it for goodness sake.
So I'll issue apologies now to anyone I have ever ducked out on in the past or WILL duck out on in the future. I am sorry. Please do not take it as discourteous or a sign that I do not care about you. In fact, the opposite is true. The more I care about someone, the harder it is to say goodbye and the harder I look for a way to avoid actually saying it. Such a wonderful and admirable trait in an Army wife, isn't it?