As we move through our lives, we pass through a series of hellos and goodbyes. We come and go throughout the day, not thinking about the joy of a new hello or the sometimes finality of a sad goodbye. As I prepare for our move from the home where we raised our children to a temporary home in the Finger Lakes without them, my goodbyes are slowly outnumbering my hellos.
We recently adopted Tillie, a 2-year old bulldog. She is a rescue, and her initial hello was tentative and suspicious. During the three weeks since she has been here, she is slowly saying goodbye to those old feelings of fear and anxiety and wags her tail with the power of a full-on hello to new possibilities.
I recently wrote an obituary for one of my best friend’s dad, Eddie, so that she and her family could say their goodbyes. It was my pleasure to write it, and even though I never met him, I oddly felt a connection once I began to type. I like to think Eddie was there with his family collecting their goodbyes and embracing the hellos to those who passed before him. We all pass through these goodbyes and hellos in our lifetime. Make them count.
Women Who Wine.
The Women Who Wine are my squad. It is more than a glass of wine and a handful of Dot’s Pretzels. There can be no goodbye to this group of women who have enriched my life and allowed me to be part of something extraordinary. My heart and soul said hello to these ladies, and there they will remain forever.
My gym family.
It takes a special group of people to wake up every morning before 4:30 AM and get to the gym. It takes a unique group of people to become a gym family. My 5:15 HIIT class surprised me with a party at 6am after class. Complete with fruit salad in a watermelon decorated as a kettlebell! My last spin class at Crunch Fitness was this morning, and the goodbyes have become more challenging as each day passes. I cannot say goodbye to Jo, whose hello in 2009 I will always treasure. Jo, you made me stronger in so many ways. Thank you. (and Jaime, Alisha, Heather, and Danny)
My Mani/Pedi ritual has been consistent at Deluxe Nails in Niskayuna since they opened ten years ago. Kyle answers the phone like an old friend, kind and caring. I have barely witnessed a hello or goodbye from my chair as they are so often viewed as invisible by some. Please look closer. They are larger than life in soul and spirit. I cried when I told them I was leaving. Now you may think that is ridiculous, and that’s ok, but might I suggest that the next time you get your nails done, or your hair cut, enjoy the company of the person sitting two feet from you. Say hello and listen. You can learn a lot from them.
The Italian goodbye
Italians take forever to say goodbye. You start by putting on your coat and hugging. Then you walk to the door and hug a little more. You may even end up in the driveway, next to the car, for one more hug. Goodbye does not come easy for Italians. Hello is much better, and we use Ciao interchangeably. I think that is pretty cool. Ciao is not as final as a goodbye.
Reflect on your goodbyes and welcome the hellos.
An old friend from high school posted Don’t wait till the funeral to bring the lasagna on his Facebook page. Charlie is just a wonderful guy, and I am so lucky to have known him for all these years. Pardon the metaphor, but I think Charlie had it right. Be in the moment, and the moments will carry you through. Please don’t wait to say hello because it can turn quickly into goodbye.
Goodbyes are complex, but if we can open up, the hellos will be warm. I have a few more goodbyes to say, and they are purposeful and heartfelt. Be forewarned, Canandaigua- my hellos are powerful! Ciao!
Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like my address, and we can stay in touch.