In the home where I grew up, a brick house perches atop a slowly sloping hill, regarding a little white barn in the valley. On one side of that cheerful, little barn, a beautiful white fence stretches gracefully across the grass. To the left of the barn a lane, Louie Lane, walks directly into a wall of pine trees. As a little girl this lane was the path to worlds unknown. I’d slip between the needled branches and disappear.
I was not alone in these long hours of adventure; I had a companion, a cat, who, like a burr, would stick to me as close as any dog. Standing in the mouth of the barn, I’d shout his name into the world beyond the trees. And he would come –always trotting down that little lane, tail up and grinning. Together we conquered dragons, built kingdoms, and met Prince Charming.
One day, the sun stopped shining over the little, white barn. As if crying for me, the clouds hung low as I walked slowly down that lane –alone. My companion was in my arms; and yet, he was not there. I put a stone atop a little mound of dirt beside the lane that day. I said goodbye to my companion that day.
But the sun always shines, even behind the clouds. If I had a stone for every goodbye I’ve said, I could pave that little lane. Goodbye is hard. Goodbye is inevitable. Goodbye is not the end; it’s just a door to something new. Years later I’ll come back to that little, white barn, I’ll walk down Louie Lane, and I’ll remember all the good times. There won’t be any rain; there won’t be any tears. I’ll laugh with joy; and say “hello.”