226. on saying goodbye

So I’m here at Willie’s house in Vegas. I’ll be here until Monday night when I fly out to Seattle where I’ll stay for…who but God knows and what but time will tell?

I’ll tell yah, the hardest bit wasn’t actually the day of the flight out of Hawaii, it was the day before. I come from a pretty typical 2nd generation Asian family, so emotions aren’t shared freely. That said, it was quite a heavy blow to see my mother tearing up. Up until that point, the move was just the start of an exciting adventure for me, but those tears reminded me that there were consequences for those I was leaving behind. It’s like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow wrote, “They who go feel not the pain of parting; it is they who stay behind that suffer.”

But the hard part is over now, what’s done is done. I’d like to think that my parents wish the best for me, but there were an awful lot of hints about coming back to Hawaii, as in, “don’t buy too much furniture just in case things don’t work out up there and you have to come back,” or “make sure you keep the number of the moving company just in case you have to come back.” At the time I took those comments as irritating attempts to undermine my confidence but now I see that it was their way of both subtly asking me if I was sure I wanted to go and telling me that I had a place to return to if things didn’t work out. At least that’s how I want to think about it.

It sucks that “goodbyes” are an inevitable part of life, but they are. The brutal truth of the matter is, even if people never move apart, death will have his say in the matter sooner or later. And a part of me finds this situation stupid beyond reason. What’s the point of saying “hello” if that means there’s going to be a “goodbye” at some other point?

“Geeze, Randall, could you be any more cynical?”

Oops, sorry about that.

I suppose one could see the fact of “goodbye” as a reminder to make the most of what time we do have together – to not take it for granted. I mean, for most of my 34 years at home with my parents, it was business as usual. But I think about the next time I’ll see them – that will certainly be a more meaningful encounter. But that will make saying “goodbye” again even harder.

“There you go again…”

What can you do. That’s life.

“You’re not going to end this entry on this bum tip are you?”


Look, I’m sorry that I had to say goodbye and hurt my parents, but God has bigger plans for me. Even though I didn’t want to put my folks through it, as far as I was concerned I felt I had no other choice. I had to make this move. And in a way, it serves as fuel to succeed. I want to make something great of myself so they will see that their pain was not in vain. I mean how great would it be to return home with a successful musical career with my band or as a published writer? How cool would that be?


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