I was dashing in to heat up my lunch today and passed my hallway neighbor as she said toodles. I stopped. "Did you just say toodles?" We exchanged a few words and I can't recall them now because at the time my mind was flooded with memories. I shared them with her.
My grandpa always said toodle-loo when I went to leave him. My grandparents lived in a ranch, they built and from the garage there was a narrow long hallway with their bedroom, laundry room, bathroom, stairs to the cellar before you got to the kitchen that opened to the family room. This hallway always seemed longer than it was coming and going. Coming I was always excited to see them no matter how old I got. Leaving it was long but always shortened when Grandpa called toodle-loo, about half way down the hallway.
Then I had to share with her my grandpa had his ritual for goodbye in person but on the phone he never said goodbye. He would say his last word and probably listen for mine and then click. That was it. He was gone. My grandpa was very vivid in my mind as I told these two snippets about him today.
As I got home tonight and was reflecting on my day, I couldn't shake the feeling of how powerful one word was for me today. How one word took me back in time. How one word brought back memories that were all mine. How it's been many years since I heard my grandpa say toodle-loo but it took just a quick second out of the blue to resurface and warm my heart. While my heart warmed, my heart also tugged to hear toodle-loo one more time.
Thank you Two Writing Teachers for hosting Slice of Life each week.