The First Goodbye

There is a life beating under all of this. Just need to believe and hold on a little longer.

I have a million things in my head, so much I want to get on paper before I lose the thought forever. So they may be coming out of order, and may have inaccuracies but if you know me, that’s not new…

It’s been my usual week: signed the bankruptcy papers, foreclosure getting underway, lost phone (again, but this time with a bunch of moving boxes at my daughter’s) and my left lens out of my glasses. But it changed today. Saturday, 12/11/10.

One of my dear friends for – gosh – maybe 20 years?? or so, came to Michigan to visit me. We were co-workers for a time. Life and people move on, but I always have my friends in my heart, and they’ve at least come to understand, if not accept, my infrequent ‘hello’s’ and the more prevalent ‘good-byes’.

It had been at least 7 or more years since we had seen one another, and other than me being a bit crazier and weepier, we settled right back into the last story we told way back then. That’s something about real friendships – absence doesn’t seem to make a difference.

A few weeks ago I was reunited (thanks to Faith Magazine’s article) with some neighbors and co-workers from a couple of parishes I’d worked at. As we met for lunch we all took long looks at one another and said “you haven’t changed one darned bit!!” Until I called Bernie ‘Monica’ — and we all started laughing. Hell. It’s been 40 years!! We’re damned old wimmin. And then we compacted all that history into a 90 minute lunch. That was a miracle for sure.

And today, seeing Paula. I think it hit us like a ton of bricks that we probably won’t see one another again. She made me a lovely (and funny) neck scarf. I gave her my first ‘real’ watercolor of roses that I bought after my divorce. Should have signed it, but the moment needed the silence. I have a number of things written on as to whom gets what when I die. I was fortunate enough to be alive to give mine to her.

Last good-bye’s don’t mean we won’t talk or email. But the reality of how it will end, there will be no more of what we had, takes some getting used to, by both people. We spoke of the love we’ve had, the mistakes we’ve made with one another, and put things ‘right’ between us for this special moment.

Maybe every greeting should end in a blessing, making sure all things are settled between us. My mother (all mothers?) always said to never let the sun go down and leave an argument or misunderstanding go unresolved. I think Jesus might have said something like that, too ;o)

Remember Roger Whittaker, great baritone singer in the 70’s and 80’s? If I do this properly you can play the song for yourselves. Here is “First Hello, Last Goodbye” ….


Papa, is it ok we just sit quietly and think about this? It’s me, Vicki, and the good-bye is really just good night. For now…

I realize that it isn't just the thought of no flowers or sunny days as winter comes. It's the disappointment when the snow doesn't come and soften the harshness of the landscape. But each snowfall is like my soul feels after confession, or doing something better than the day before. Winter is a season of mourning but also of the hope that as community - FB, church, social groups - can work to keep Spring in mind, ignoring the long dark days with the sunshine we bestow on one another. Today, please pray for the lonely, jobless, abandoned, elderly and shut-ins who, like many of the flowers in my garden, may not survive this winter to see Spring. Pray that they see a rainbow to lead them to a new season, to the best place, where sadness, pain, worry and all those human foibles cannot reach.

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1 comment

  1. I have to give credit to JimC for getting all this to work. HE got the song to play and HE makes it look pretty darned good. Thanks, Webmaster!

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