I overheard a conversation between a mother and her daughter, while waiting for my flight to Paris. They were bidding each other farewell. The girl had to pass through security, and her mother hugged her, saying:
“I love you and hope you get what you need”.
The girl didn’t hesitate at all, and answered: “Your love is all I need, mom. I hope you get what you need as well”.
After saying this, the girl left toward the waiting room. Her mom leaned against the window next to me. I could see the tears in her eyes, and she was about to burst into tears. I didn’t want to interrupt, but to my surprise, she talked to me first.
“Have you ever said goodbye, knowing it’s for the best?”, she asked me.
“Yes, I have once”, I told her. “But, why do you think this goodbye is forever?”.
She looked at me and said, “I’m already old. I think that, the next time my daughter sees me, it’ll be at my funeral”.
I was surprised at first. For a few minutes I reflected about this chilling confession said with such simple words. Finally, curiosity got the best of me.
“Sorry, but before leaving, you told your daughter –I hope you get what you need-. Could you please tell me what that means?”.
The woman smiled, “It’s a family tradition passed down through generations. My parents wished that to their friends and relatives. When we say –I hope you get what you need-, we mean:
• I hope you get enough sun to lighten your life.
• I hope you get enough rainy days to appreciate the sunny days.
• I hope you get enough happiness to carry spring in your soul.
• I hope you get enough pain for the little things to make you happy.
• I hope you get enough to make your dreams a reality.
• I hope you have enough loss to appreciate all the gifts in life.
• I hope you get to meet new people to overcome separations.
For a moment, she remained silent. Then, with a lump in her throat, she mumbled a quick goodbye to me and left, leaving me alone with my thoughts. Her words, however, and their wisdom which I am yet to fully comprehend, deeply changed me. They say you only need a minute to meet a special person, an hour to get to know them, a day to fall in love, and a lifetime to forget them…