Dennis's family took me in. I have many memories of playing flashlight tag with Tim and Denise, Dennis's younger brother and sister. The greatest gift Dennis gave me was treating me like a friend. He didn't treat me like some weirdo kid who was obviously "not from around here ". I am happy to report he hasn't changed. When he visited me this time, he treated me like Akhil, not Akhil with ALS. I absolutely love him for not letting ALS define me!
We were (are) uber-nerds, complete with playing Dungeons and Dragons for hours on end. Yes, we lived up to every cliche except one, both Dennis and I were off-the-chart extraverts. We have never met a stranger. So we had a chance to catch up on past friends and weird people that we have known.
Neither Dennis nor Ann had spent any time in the Northwest before. We took advantage of the afternoon weather and took them to a nearby winery. Laura, Ann, Dennis and I all laughed at the antics we perpetrated in our youth. It was so much fun that we lost track of time. The afternoon turned to evening and the winery was closing for the night. We went back to our home and we did what everyone does, we had that awkward moment when you knew it was time to say, “Goodbye”.
Just for the record, I hate that moment! There is a level of sadness that accompanies the word “bye”.
As I went to bed I replayed the day’s events, still smiling on the inside, that is, until I got to the "bye”. I had an epiphany. I was so excited I couldn't wait to write this post.
I was analyzing why I feel sad when I hear “bye”. The reason is there is a finality to "bye”.
I can still hear Uma, my sister, saying, "Yeh They Ah-ee" (Ah-ee means mom) or "Yeh They Doofus" (Doofus means brilliant brother, that is a loose translation).
If you come over for a visit say, “until we meet again" as you are leaving instead of saying “Good Bye”. Or if you want to really impress me, say the gender-specific version of the phrase with a slight Indian accent. As a matter of fact, you might try this with visits with other people too!