Sometimes, the smallest gesture can have the biggest impact. Like waving goodbye, as someone leaves you.
My parents always did this. Day or night, regardless of how many goodbyes we said, they’d be in the front window, waving as I backed away. If it was dark outside, I’d turn on the car’s dome light so they could see us waving back. I always felt they were savoring the final seconds of our time together, as if it was infinitely precious to them. Now that I have children and a grandson of my own, I know that was true.
When my grandson sleeps over on a school night, we repeat our own version of this ritual. I drive him home and we wait for the school bus together. He climbs aboard, always seated in the very back. He begins to wave before the bus monitor has ascended the stairs and the driver has closed the doors. We wave goodbye until the bus is completely out of sight. One especially chilly morning, we waited in my car. As the bus pulled away, I was able to merge into the impatient traffic right behind it. We waved to each other all the way down the street, even after the bus turned onto the road where the school is located. My arm was getting tired. But my heart was full.
One night recently, I left the home of friends after staying late to watch a sporting event on television. The dark night was biting cold after the coziness of the house and the company. Pulling out of the driveway, I passed the front door where I had exited a few moments earlier. Framed in the dark doorway, illuminated by the inside light, I saw someone waving. It was unexpected and felt like a warm blanket being wrapped around me for the lonely drive home.
Always wave goodbye. Send your loved ones off with a little extra warmth. It says “I care about you and I cherish our time together.” It requires little effort and it’s a really important message. 👋 Bye!