One of the truths in my life is that I have had to say a lot of goodbyes over the years. When I was young I grew up in a preacher’s family. In our family moving was just part of what life was all about. We really did not move all that often—I lived in 5 different towns from birth to college and that really did not seem like all that many different places to me.
After marriage I have had the pleasure of exploring several areas of our great United States and even Australia. I have lived in 6 different states in multiple locations in those states and Australia and found happiness in every corner. But one common theme is that goodbye is a word I know fairly well.
My first memorable goodbye was to my two best friends from 1st and 2nd grade. Lynn and Beth. A couple years ago I reconnected with Beth on Facebook which is a pretty amazing thing considering the last time I saw her was probably 45 years ago. This picture is in my memory when I think of them and life in Hannibal, Ohio. The three of us laughing together. The funny thing about goodbyes is that sometimes they are really “so longs”. Beth and I hope to get together sometime soon and rekindle that friendship in person.
More moves, more goodbyes. Our first move of married life was to Orlando, Florida where we had so many wonderful friends. Friends that we made during those Navy days are still present in our lives today and with the wonders of technology we can connect anytime we want to. The goodbyes we said when we left Orlando were difficult because we had experienced so much together. Starting families and careers together creates a lasting bond and I am grateful for those friends to this day. I go to them time and time again for prayer support and to touch base and keep a perspective on what is important.
Then there were friends in Illinois who were part of a weekly Tuesday night Bible Study group. We had a lot of fun times outside of Bible Study and I love how we have stayed connected with these friends over the years and gotten the chance to visit on occasion after our move.
Our friends in North Carolina were the best. Once again we experienced life together and watched our families grow up and mature. Life experiences bonded us for life and I visit with these ladies as often as I can when I go back to North Carolina.
Work was a part of life and a wonderful staff was part of the many blessings of my workplace. I make it a point to try to visit as many of my former co-workers as possible and keep up to date with all the goings on through emails and Facebook following.
Our boys were always resilient and embraced moves to different places with a matter of fact manner. I know it was not always easy being the new kid but they both did it with such ease that it made it easier for us as parents. We approached each move with the excitement and anticipation of what was to come and the positiveness bubbled over into their lives.
The hardest move for me was probably the one from North Carolina to Iowa. I had the perfect job with the perfect boss who “got me” and found a way to use my gifts and talents in a positive way. Recently in a conversation with a friend I told her that this was one of those people who held my heart. His encouragement and belief in my abilities was what gave me confidence to step up and out in ministry. We had a great working relationship and I respected him and admired him. When Chris accepted a job in Iowa I had to tell Mark that I was going to have to leave eventually. I “broke up” with him at a Starbucks. Later that day I found a note slipped under my office door when I arrived. I still have it.
There are all kinds of goodbyes. Some are more difficult than others. The ones where one knows that they will never see that person again are painful. But for me—I would like to hang on to all of those who still hold my heart. That includes all of my “imaginary” bloggy friends and readers of It’s Just Life. Thanks for coming along for the ride.
How do you handle goodbyes?