“We Never Said, Goodbye”

“We Never Said, Goodbye”


The strong sense of certainty that comes with youth.  The knowing that when the school day would end, that the very next day you would see your friends again, not the slightest doubt would enter your mind.  Even at the end of a Friday it was always “I’ll see you at the party,” or “I’ll be by your pad on Saturday.”  But it was never “goodbye.”  At worst it was “I will see you on Monday.”


When in the sixties so many of us enlisted or were drafted for Vietnam, we never said “goodbye” to each other.  It was, “I’ll see you later, be careful” or “Don’t go and get married when you’re over there,” which always ended in a laugh. But we never said “goodbye.”


There was always that certainty that we would see each other again.  Now the certainty of time and illness have begun to call on friends.  Visiting them in the hospital is always with words of “get better,” “stay strong,” or “see you later, but never “goodbye.”


Friends are like family.  We never say “goodbye” to family because we have that knowing, that certainty, that faith, that no matter what separates us, we will see each other again.  We never say “goodbye.”  “I’ll see you later” or “save me a place so we can sit and talk, while we wait for the rest of the family and friends to show up.”  But never “goodbye,” because you never let go of someone that is good and that is a part of your life.  So I’ll never say “goodbye,” it’s too final, instead I’ll say,   “see you later,” God willing.


Roberto Juarez


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