The Ones Who Hold Your Heart

One of the truths in my life is that I have had to say a lot of goodbyes over the years. When I was young I grew up in a preacher’s family.  In our family moving was just part of what life was all about. We really did not move all that often—I lived in 5 different towns from birth to college and that really did not seem like all that many different places to me.

After marriage I have had the pleasure of exploring several areas of our great United States and even Australia. I have lived in 6 different states in multiple locations in those states and Australia and found happiness in every corner. But one common theme is that goodbye is a word I know fairly well.

My first memorable goodbye was to my two best friends from 1st and 2nd grade. Lynn and Beth. A couple years ago I reconnected with Beth on Facebook which is a pretty amazing thing considering the last time I saw her was probably 45 years ago. This picture is in my memory when I think of them and life in Hannibal, Ohio. The three of us laughing together. The funny thing about goodbyes is that sometimes they are really “so longs”. Beth and I hope to get together sometime soon and rekindle that friendship in person.

Lynn Aikens, Beth Rich Brown, Beth Ann Brown Chiles

Lynn Aikens, Beth Rich Brown, Beth Ann Brown Chiles (almost out of the picture.)

More moves, more goodbyes. Our first move of married life was to Orlando, Florida where we had so many wonderful friends. Friends that we made during those Navy days are still present in our lives today and with the wonders of technology we can connect anytime we want to. The goodbyes we said when we left Orlando were difficult because we had experienced so much together. Starting families and careers together creates a lasting bond and I am grateful for those friends to this day.  I go to them time and time again for prayer support and to touch base and keep a perspective on what is important.

Virginia and Walter Pillsbury---Navy days

Virginia and Walter Pillsbury—Navy days

Then there were friends in Illinois who were part of a weekly Tuesday night Bible Study group.  We had a lot of fun times outside of Bible Study and I love how we have stayed connected with these friends over the years and gotten the chance to visit on occasion after our move.

Some of our Bible Study group ladies from Freeport, IL days

Some of our Bible Study group ladies from Freeport, IL days

Our friends in North Carolina were the best. Once again we experienced life together and watched our families grow up and mature. Life experiences bonded us for life and I visit with these ladies as often as I can when I go back to North Carolina.

Mooresville, NC friends

Mooresville, NC friends —husbands not here.  🙂

Work was a part of life and a wonderful staff was part of the many blessings of my workplace. I make it a point to try to visit as many of my former co-workers as possible and keep up to date with all the goings on through emails and Facebook following.

Epworth UMC co-workers

Epworth UMC co-workers

Our boys were always resilient and embraced moves to different places with a matter of fact manner.  I know it was not always easy being the new kid but they both did it with such ease that it made it easier for us as parents. We approached each move with the excitement and anticipation of what was to come and the positiveness bubbled over into their lives.

The hardest move for me was probably the one from North Carolina to Iowa.  I had the perfect job with the perfect boss who “got me” and found a way to use my gifts and talents in a positive way.  Recently in a conversation with a friend I told her that this was one of those people who held my heart. His encouragement and belief in my abilities was what gave me confidence to step up and out in ministry. We had a great working relationship and I respected him and admired him. When Chris accepted a job in Iowa I had to tell Mark that I was going to have to leave eventually.  I “broke up” with him at a Starbucks. Later that day I found a note slipped under my office door when I arrived. I still have it.P1000679

There are all kinds of goodbyes. Some are more difficult than others.  The ones where one knows that they will never see that person again are painful. But for me—I would like to hang on to all of those who still hold my heart. That includes all of my “imaginary” bloggy friends and readers of It’s Just Life. Thanks for coming along for the ride.

How do you handle goodbyes?

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  1. You were prepared to know how to make moves when you were young. I, too, moved quite a bit with my dad’s job in the space industry. When he moved for the last time, I stayed in TX because I married a Texan who had deep roots. The house is for sale but we’ll be moving not that far away to the country. My brothers and sister however, have all moved several times in their adult life. That has made interesting trips for our family.

  2. Once again you have a way of expressing yourself with such heartfelt words and in ways that cause us to think and appreciate.

    You amaze me, my friend, with your resilience and your seemingly endless positive attitude. I am blessed beyond measure to be among your “imaginary” bloggy friends.

    Unlike you, I moved only twice b/n birth and age 17, from the old farmhouse on our farm to the new house my parents built right across the drive to house their growing family. During my marriage, I’ve moved twice, from a rented lake cabin into town about five miles away.

    No matter, goodbyes are hard, but made easier today by technology.

    • Thank you, Audrey. Technology does make goodbyes a bit easier. We are blessed to be able to maintain friendships from years ago but it takes effort on both sides. Thank you for the kind words.

  3. Can certainly relate Beth Ann with CH being in the military for 25 years. It’s hard to say goodbye to good friends but it sure makes you appreciate every moment with people we cherish.

    • I could not have said it better! I think the military life is a good way to learn how to say goodbye but also how to make really strong and lasting friendships. We have such great memories of our Navy days.

  4. Sometimes, I don’t say goodbye…I just say “see you later!”

  5. Even though moves are hard, both emotionally and physically (some more difficult physically than others!), I’ve always looked at them with a sense of adventure–God is already there preparing things. New situations, new challenges, and new friends! You can never have too many friends, but I love that we can stay in touch so easily with the “oldest and best.”

    • I totally agree, sissy! We have been so blessed with friends everywhere we have moved and each move seemed to offer more opportunities and experiences. Attitude is a lot of being successful in a move, that is for sure!

  6. I, too, have been a bit of a nomad, so I’m quite familiar with the word ‘good-bye.’ It’s not one of my favorite words because too often, it has a permanence attached to it. You’re wise to have reconnected to folks from your past and to hang on to those friendships when you can. Varied experiences such as yours make Life so interesting!

    • Life is so interesting and I think a lot of it has to do with having a positive attitude and knowing that there are new experiences and opportunities out there. Good byes are not easy but if you know that you can just pick up right where you left off the next time you see them it makes it easier.

  7. jennisincerely says:

    I’m so glad to be one of your imaginary bloggy friends! 🙂 Goodbyes are hard. I only had one big move in 7th grade when we left Mason City and moved to Des Moines. It was so very traumatic for me, as we were leaving everything we had known our whole lives. Thank goodness for Facebook and being able to reconnect with old friends. 🙂

    • I agree–it is so much easier than it used to be to stay in touch with friends. I have a lot of friends who have always lived in the same place and they think I am really something to be able to pick up and move. Not really—-it is just my life and I am glad that I can do it. 🙂 I am glad you are one of my bloggy friends too which hopefully someday will not be imaginary anymore!

  8. I hate goodbyes….
    I usually cry

  9. Funny, I was just thinking of a different kind of goodbye. My high school drama teacher’s husband is taking his last breaths. I feel pain for her. I think if our ego had its way, we would never let our loves go. Grief and goodbyes can be so painful. When I read the first line of your post, I thought it was about people dying. Refreshing that it’s not, and you’re still in contact with some of your friends from other places and showing that you value them.

  10. I have had many moves in my life. I try to keep in touch and some of my friends have kept in touuch but one of my very best friends never did. She was that way in college. We tried to get her to write home, almost never did! Since I am much older than most of your bloggers I have lost many of my best friends. Being here at Copland I have so many good friends it is hard to spend time with all of them as much as I would like. If you love people, they usually will love you.

    • Moving can be a wonderful thing if you adopt the right attitude. I think growing up we always had great examples with you and Daddy showing us how the next new place would be even better.

  11. I went to 11 schools while growing up. For me, ygoodbyes were normal. Now I am like a cat, I am resistent to change. There is security in sameness.

  12. A very heartfelt post. It sounds despite your sadness you handle them with grace. Goodbyes are tough. i don’t do them well. 😀

  13. Goodbyes are always hard but if you commit to staying in touch, you keep the old friends and make some amazing new ones as well. I too value the blogging friendships I have made as they have added to my life in so many ways. Thanks for being one of them.

  14. Goodbyes make me sad too even if it’s a goodbye that will be a hello later on…or a so long as you put it! Great post Beth Ann!

  15. A lot of my goodbyes lately are tearful. I don’t like goodbyes anymore. I used to look forward to new adventures, now I miss people I love. Sorry I’m so late here – I’ve been kidnapped by the Olympics! I’ll try to get caught up soon!

    • No apologies needed! I understand the draw of the Olympics although where we have been this week has not allowed us to view much of it at all. Or at least not the stuff we wanted to watch. But that is okay. Goodbyes to family and friends are hard. I am especially missing my boys these days.

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