When He Said “Goodbye”

“Jesus wept.” John 11:35         “God will wipe every tear from their eyes …” Revelation 21:4

I don’t know if she remembers it, but we were only married four or five years when we sat across the kitchen table from each other and I said “goodbye” to my wife, Jan. Somewhere along the way I had come to the realization that life doesn’t last forever. Love, no matter how beautiful – life, no matter how blessed – comes to an end. I needed to acknowledge that by saying “goodbye” so I could spend the rest of our life together living and growing into “Hello”. But since whenever it was that I had that “revelation” I find myself crying at even the simplest “goodbyes”.

When we lived in Lake Placid and our sons were living in Vermont I would drive Josh or Micah, whichever one happened to have come for the weekend to visit, to Plattsburgh to take the ferry at Port Kent. I would wait with them and watch them get on the boat. I would stay until the ferry pulled away from the dock. Sometimes I would stay until the boat had faded from sight … and I would cry. I so wanted to reach out, take hold of my son and press him close to my chest.

When I watch my daughter and her family pull out of our driveway as they head back to Connecticut after a weekend visit to Vermont, I cry. September 30 Tuesdevo

And I’m not ashamed to say I cried as I watched Derek Jeter say his “goodbye” to baseball at Fenway Park. One of the fans held up a sign as Jeter stepped to the plate for his last at-bat that read: “Don’t cry because it’s over; Smile because it happened.” That’s a great sign. That’s great advice. It is part of the Christian hope that a day comes when there will be no more goodbyes.

Until then, we sing: No more cryin’ there; we are going to see the King.

Maybe today we can be a bit more conscious of the reality of all of life’s goodbyes. It might help us be more gentle, more grateful, more joyful when we have the opportunity to say “Hello”.

A blessed Tuesday.


Jeter’s Last At-Bat

“Attraction” – Saying “Goodbye”; Saying “Hello”

Mark Demers

Want to talk about sex, politics, spirituality? So do I. I grew up in a religious home in the 1950’s and 1960’s. Our country was reeling from assassinations and the devastation of the Viet Nam War. Looking for something beautiful, I got a degree in music, married the love of my life and had children. Looking for God, I then went to seminary. Looking for something that might transform the world, I became a local church pastor. Now, I’m always looking for people who want to talk about important things. I cherish conversations with emerging leaders, people who are antsy to try an idea they believe would change the world for the better. I’d would love to hear from you.