Sunday, February 13, 2011

Saying Goodbye

Today I want to talk about 'saying goodbye' as it relates to moving forward from one place in our lives to another. Whether one is actually physically changing locale or simply changing jobs or schools or moving forward in one's life the very action of moving on almost always includes 'saying goodbye'.

Throughout my life I have said 'Goodbye' many times and in many ways. The first and hardest for me was saying 'Goodbye' to my dad when he passed from this world shortly after my 15th birthday. He had fought long and hard not to leave us, however, his time had inevitably come. I never really got to physically say goodbye to him as he was taken to the hospital in an unconscious state and never regained consciousness...still I had to let him go. During the ensuing years I have 'said goodbye' to many other loved ones...grandparents, friends, and my own dear mom...this kind of 'goodbye' never gets easier, it is just part of life. We learn to deal with it and move on. We never stop missing these people whom we have said a final goodbye to. Personally I do not believe it is so final as I know we will meet again one day, still it is hard to say.

The next big 'Goodbye' for me was leaving the place I was born in and called home for the first 25 years of my life...the small desert town of Palmdale California. It was not really hard, I knew I could come back and visit and I looked forward to starting a new life in a different place with new family and friends (I had just married my husband who was from Georgia). The most difficult part was saying goodbye to friends and family and a community that I had been a part of all of my life until then. I kept in touch with some friends and family for a while then gradually lost contact for many years until recently when I began to search for a couple of friends from my childhood. That search led me to not only finding those few but a whole big group of old friends, family and a community of people I had thought lost forever. For this I thank the Internet, Classmates dot com and Facebook...and have learned the truth of the statement 'Goodbyes are not forever'.

The third kind of 'saying goodbye' involves leaving behind a job, old habits, things that for one reason or another no longer work for us. Some jobs I have been glad to say goodbye to, others cause some sadness. Most recently I have had to say this sort of goodbye...having worked at a small tea room/cafe, The Baron York, for the past 6 1/2 years. This was a 'job' I truly loved! I enjoyed everything about it...the intimacy of the place, and with the people, both those I worked for and with, and those I served. I loved dressing up for work, preparing the food, even the cleaning. I loved the town (still do) where this place was located, loved my drive to work. So it is, for me, a very hard 'goodbye'...and what makes it even harder is the suddenness of it. Oh I suppose I should have seen it with most small businesses the economy has dealt it many blows, I knew the struggles because they were a daily part of it all...I just kept hoping, praying and believing that it would turn around...until the phone call came that told me it was over. Mostly what made it hard is that my services were no longer needed even through the last few weeks to closing. I understand the reasons, however they do not change the fact that I have not had a chance to say a proper 'Goodbye'...especially to the customers I had come to know and love...many of whom I will not likely see again. Of course I have been through this before with other jobs, other places, other times...still it doesn't make this time easier. So, if some of you who were customers of the Baron York are reading here I want to say how much I enjoyed meeting you, getting to know you, and serving has truly been a most pleasurable experience for me. I hope perhaps some day we will meet again...I will begin work in March at 'Annie's At Alley's a small market/deli in Lakemont Ga...not sure what my hours will be, but maybe some of you will come by and have a sandwich or just check it out. I will also be exhibiting some of my photographic art in a couple of galleries in the area in the near future so perhaps I will see you there. And again...I have loved my time working at The Baron York Tea Room & Cafe...I will miss being there and serving all of you.

And so it is time to say 'Goodbye' to that part of my life...time to move on to new adventures.

"Don't be dismayed at goodbyes. A farewell is necessary before you can meet again. And meeting again, after moments or lifetime, is certain for those who are friends." ~ Richard Bach


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