People say goodbye at airports almost constantly. Either in person or over the phone, they are usually said with the hopes that they will see each other again. It’s not particularly dangerous to fly and they don’t mean it as a final farewell, but partings are always laced with that tiny shred of doubt…
Any time might be “the last.” We aren’t guaranteed tomorrow. Many of us aren’t guaranteed the next hour. You never know when the end will come, so wishing your loved ones well is always important. This guy may have just given us all a new way to do it in the sweetest way!
At an airport I overheard a father and daughter in their last moments together. They had announced her plane’s departure and standing near the door, he said to his daughter, “I love you, I wish you enough.”
She said, “Daddy, our life together has been more than enough. Your love is all I ever needed. I wish you enough, too, Daddy.” They kissed good-bye and she left.
He walked over toward the window where I was seated. Standing there I could see he wanted and needed to cry. I tried not to intrude on his privacy, but he welcomed me in by asking, “Did you ever say good-bye to someone knowing it would be forever?”
“Yes, I have,” I replied.
Saying that brought back memories I had of expressing my love and appreciation for all my Dad had done for me. Recognizing that his days were limited, I took the time to tell him face to face how much he meant to me. So I knew what this man was experiencing.
“Forgive me for asking, but why is this a forever good-bye?” I asked.
“I am old and she lives much too far away. I have challenges ahead and the reality is, her next trip back will be for my funeral, ” he said.
“When you were saying good-bye I heard you say, ‘I wish you enough.’ May I ask what that means?”
He began to smile. “That’s a wish that has been handed down from other generations. My parents used to say it to everyone.” He paused for a moment and looking up as if trying to remember it in detail, he smiled even more.
“When we said ‘I wish you enough,’ we were wanting the other person to have a life filled with enough good things to sustain them,” he continued and then turning toward me he shared the following as if he were reciting it from memory.
“I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright. I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more. I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive. I wish you enough pain so that the smallest joys in life appear much bigger. I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting. I wish you enough loss to appreciate all that you possess. I wish enough “Hello’s” to get you through the final “Good-bye.”
He then began to sob and walked away.
It might take a bit of explaining before it really catches on, but wishing someone well is just not as meaningful as wishing them enough. It’s a bold statement that really sinks in. Something about it is beautiful, and I want to use it more than just “goodbye.” I’m so glad he took the time to write down this amazing story!
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