Saying Good-bye…


Dear Reader:

Aren’t good-byes one of the hardest things we have to deal with in life? From the time we are infants until adulthood…saying good-bye to friends and family is a ritual most of us would rather avoid.

So as children and then parents of children…didn’t we try to lighten the mood with silly sayings like the ones in the title photo. “See ya later alligator, After awhile crocodile, Out the door, dinosaur, See you soon raccoon, Hit the road happy toad, and Give a hug, ladybug.”

I remember when mother was dying…there was a part of me, the child in me, that wanted to run away and avoid the last good-bye. My brother, Ben, actually did leave to get a change of clothes, and had not gotten much past the parking lot when I called him back.

Mandy was with me and the atmosphere was charged with the imminent departure of mother. When the nurse told me her heart had stopped…but she could still hear…a sense of peace came over me and I had that conversation I had thought about for so long when this moment came and it was a memorable good-bye.

Quinn Caldwell-United Church of Christ, one of my favorite devotional authors, wrote this devotional a couple of years ago, which I read earlier in the week and marked for a re-reading. It is all about the right way to say “good-bye.”

“And now I commend you to God…”  When he had finished speaking, he knelt down with them all and prayed.  There was much weeping among them all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, grieving especially because of what he had said, that they would not see him again.  Then they brought him to the ship. – Acts 20:17-38  

Nobody likes goodbyes, and we go to many lengths to soften or avoid them.  A colleague leaves or a friend moves, and we say it’s not goodbye because we promise to have lunch, or to write, or to Facebook.  Sometimes we avoid the moment altogether: even though I barely knew her, I once hid in the bathroom for half an hour at a coworker’s goodbye party to avoid the moment when she actually left.

When Paul says goodbye to the Ephesians, he gets it right.  He remembers what they did together, he tells them what they mean to him, he commends them to God.  The word “goodbye” is a contraction of “God be with ye.”  Saying it is a reminder that even when we’re apart, God is with us both.  It’s an act of faith that if God is with you and with me, then somehow we’re still together, and that in the end we’ll join each other at a reunion in God’s heart.  It’s a promise that even when I can’t be with you, God will be, and that that will be sufficient.

Sometime soon you’ll have to say goodbye to somebody.  It’s worth doing well, for it’s all about faith.


It was hard to say good-bye yesterday to neighbors and family…John, Mandy, and the children had just gotten home Tuesday evening and there I was leaving Wednesday until Sunday. After Christmas it sometimes seems a little lonely when everyone else returns to their routines and I find myself missing all the pre-Christmas and Christmas itself get-togethers with the family.

So until tomorrow: “God be with ye.”

“Today is my favorite day” Winnie the Pooh

6454l_balloon-bouquet12-mylarHappy Birthday to Marcia Temple and Lee Barbour…my friend-in-law and nephew. May this day be very special for both of you….a new beginning for Lee as a first-time daddy on his birthday today and for Marcia it is a birthday confirmation that life just gets better as it rolls along!

*Lee, I am sorry you ended up with the creepy birthday clown…but he had your name and the balloons didn’t….Remember no creepy clowns for Rhodes!



(I’m at Pawleys so if the birthday cards are a little late…you know why…but they are coming!!!!)

  • Sis Kinney got her word into me just before I closed down the computer…
  • Hi Becky,
    I guess I’m “a day late and a dollar short” here, but I wanted to tell you my word for the year and to wish you a blessed and relaxing time at Pawley’s. My word will have to be “listen.” I’ve come across several Bible verses in my daily readings the past couple of days and it seems “listen” comes up. Like today: “Whoever has ears, let them hear.” (Matthew 13: 43b)
  • I also want to add “prayer.” I need to be more faithful to my prayer list; I must admit (with great shame) that sometimes I don’t pray for the ones I’m committed to (through my affiliation with the Order of the Daughters of the King). So listen and prayer for me.
    Glad the weather has warmed up a bit for you and that y’all will be able to truly enjoy your retreat time in Pawley’s. One of these days I will have to return to SC b/c I really, truly miss beach time! Enjoy the fellowship, relaxation and warmth! Looking forward to hearing all about it!
    Much love,

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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1 Response to Saying Good-bye…

  1. ambikasur says:

    Hi Becky, the goodbye blog reminded of a very beautiful song I heard and dedicated my friends when we were finishing college… It kinda has the same kind of words described in the devotional… Enjoy


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