Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Much More Than Goodbye

I originally wrote this post for Family and Faith Matters in 2014.

This morning when my husband set off for work I saw him off at the door with a hug and a kiss and a “Have a good day”. I’ve been doing that for almost 34 years and I suppose it’s a habit now. It’s much more than a habit when I stop to think about it though. It’s a wish and a prayer and a blessing all in one and it carries the love and respect I have for this man who is my partner and soul mate right out the door with him when he goes into his day.

The concept of sending people off with a blessing is not a new one. The word goodbye actually originated with the phrase God be with ye.

I was watching the movie “Gladiator” recently and in it the Roman soldiers parted with a hand grip and the words “Strength and Honour”.  What a great way to send someone off! Honour is a word we don’t use much these days but it is another way of saying integrity or uprightness of character. I can almost feel myself standing a little taller and stepping out with a little more vigour when I hear that parting wish.

Most of us are familiar with the old Irish blessing.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
And the rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of His hand.

I suppose I might try saying that to my husband as he leaves for work in the morning but it is a bit cumbersome. I’m more likely to stick with my simple “Have a good day”. It has a power and beauty of its own when accompanied by that hug and kiss. Or maybe I’ll mix it up a bit and add an occasional “Strength and Honour”, or even the Vulcan “Live Long and Prosper”. I can just see the raised eyebrows now. At least he’d be going out the door with a smile on his face.

The next time you say goodbye make it more than just goodbye. It’s the chance to send someone off with a wish and a prayer and a blessing all in one.

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