What is it about us, I wondered, that we invite children to say farewell to inanimate objects? What is it with the "bye bye" when it's not another human being, when it doesn't care if you're leaving or not? I voiced my musings to Husband.
"It's a friendly signal to the child that it's time to leave," Husband said. "They know that 'bye bye' means we're going now."
I've been thinking about that leave-taking phrase ever since.
|Rhonda and Benji, in a photo I took in 1984|
Two days ago Ben's mom posted news that he was back in the hospital, and it was now evident that this would be his last stay. There were statements of hope for eternity from family members surrounding him, and sadness, such sadness. This morning came the news from Ben's mom: "My boy, my precious boy whom I loved very much passed away last night. Oh Ben -- I would gladly have died in your place. How I will miss you."
My heart aches for them in their leave-taking. "Time to go now. Bye bye, ocean." Good night, Ben.
"Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." Rev. 21:3-4