|I'm keeping this picture small because it's a little embarrassing, but this is of Rebekah and I when we were ten.|
I dealt with a lot of anxiety when I was a young child. One day, I said worriedly, "I don't like it when we say goodbye, Rebekah. I feel like goodbye is so final. It means forever. And even if one of us was going to die, we'd still see each other in heaven, right? I don't like saying goodbye"
"You're right, but what would we say instead?" Rebekah asked. She was used to my quirks and was nearly always ready to play along.
We thought for a while and finally came up with the idea of saying, "See you soon!" After that, every time we were separated we would say "See you soon!" with huge smiles on our faces, which greatly amused our parents.
I've spent the last few days reuniting with my friends, including Rebekah. When it came time for us to finally leave each other, as she had to go back to college earlier than the rest of us, we embraced but never said goodbye. We may not see each other for a few months, but this is certainly not goodbye.
"See you soon," Rebekah said, smiling as I walked out to the car.
I said "I love you" in sign language, another long-time tradition of ours. "See you soon!"
And we will.