Don’t you love the party scene in “The Sound of Music”? If you’re not familiar (we can no longer be friends, for starters), the seven von Trapp children sing a delightfully, heart-tugging “goodnight” song to a glittering ballroom of dinner guests. My cousins and I used to act out that scene on my Grandmother’s terrace steps, over and over, growing up. I’m sure when I die, that song will be the last to leave my addled brain.
I’m terrible at goodbyes. I invented “ghosting” in adolescence long before it was an expression. And the deeper my emotional ties to a person, place or thing, the more I dissolve into the ether as we part ways, avoiding that sad, oogy tummy feeling.
But I’m making myself stay and say goodbye to you all, wonderful readers, instead of ghosting this time. I’ll be moving on from spinning these columns after today. (Don’t worry, I’m leaving you in good hands!) Like the seven von Trapp children singing:
I’m sad to go, I cannot tell a lie,
I flit, I float, I fleetly flee, I fly.
Fleetly? Overlooking the bad rhyme and the made-up word— I realize my mistake. Young Brigitta sang that stanza, but instead of “sad” she actually sang “glad.” We introverts understand Briggita. We know the relief of leaving a loud party, diving into our cozy beds and snuggling up with a book. I’m certainly in that camp from time to time. Funny that I remembered it as sad. But I think more accurately, and probably why I remembered the lyrics incorrectly, I will be so terribly sad to no longer leave these words for you every month. Not glad at all. But, it is time.
I hope all your goodbyes are filled with more sad than glad. After all, laughter and joy are the B-side of sadness. You can’t have one without the other. So let’s laugh at our collective goofs, share our misadventures and not take life too seriously. That was my aim every month, at least!
So long, farewell. For now.
Cate Berry is an Austin-based children’s book author and mother of two. She also teaches writing workshops for young people at cateberry.com.