How To Say Goodbye – Don’t

This is Day 31

Thank you for joining me during the month of October for #write31days. Now that we are ending the series, I am just getting started with this rodeo. Was this a practice drill? Is tomorrow really November 1? More about that later.

To read the series in its entirety, click the page tab at the top of the home page. Spoiler alert, there are not 31 posts. Right, I know, I fell short of the goal. But I don’t really see it that way. More about that later.



I do not like goodbye’s. Unless I am leaving the DMV or the dentist. But even then I have usually tried to connect with someone in the place and have done some sort of bonding, making it difficult to leave. So goodbye’s, I am not a fan. When I say bonding, I mean I hope I have gotten past how are you’s and how is the weather’s. I am a digger. Though I try to be gentle. If we were having coffee I would be gently going deeper in conversation rather than keeping it superficial.

If you are a regular reader here, it is rare to hear me speak. Usually its a lot of poetry. And I like it that way, but today is a horse of a different color and I am feeling a bit chatty, sentimental and having a difficult time saying goodbye to this series.

Perhaps it is because I am struggling to say goodbye to my beloved old English Lab who is hanging around this thin veil of living and leaving. It is painful and yet there are moments laced with such tender beauty. I am clinging to the moments and praying for a miracle. I am seeing signs of love and life and glory tinged on the edges of her illness. The tail wags, a barometer of life. She rolls on her back and lets me rub her sweet spot, an indicator of emotion. And the food? If she can still eat her beloved peanut butter treats, she’s not going anywhere anytime soon (she says hopefully and expectantly).

So perhaps saying goodbye is best when we focus on the hellos, the gratitude, the blessings of the life and life experiences rather than the void. I do not know how to say goodbye’s well. So do not listen to me. But as I map out the end of this series I want to focus on gratitude.

My best goodbye is a big hello, thank you, blessings on your head.

If you have read here for a season, you have come across my words on aging and dementia. This is a theme of sorts  in my life as I walk through this confusing disease with my mother. It is a journey of discovery. Of pain and joy. Of surprise and disappointment. I do not want to say goodbye to who she was before dementia, I choose to say hello to who she is becoming every day within the new paradigm of her life, aging with dementia. Hello, thank you, blessings.

I want to choose to embrace the moment, savor the moment and declare the gratitude in the moment.

I guess the best goodbye is a hello till later.

Maybe that’s the best I can do on this Day 31. I hope this is hello. I hope this is see you in November. And I hope you will be around for the book. Because the book is coming, I  trust the timing. And no, I do not know the details, I just know my heart’s desire on the matter. And I hope you will help me explore the newsletter and join me if it is birthed and takes off.

So this is my postcard from me for today. Hello, thank you, bless you, warmly, e.


If I have met you through this series, thank you. If you have subscribed to the blog to follow my writing during October, thank you.

I hope to see you in November and all the months ahead.

I am dreaming of a weekly newsletter which contains writing that would not be found on my blog. If you think this sounds interesting, intriguing or has any merit at all, drop a comment in the comment box and say, “I MIGHT be interested in that”. And if you are subscribing, you will hear me announce here a place to sign up if I go forward with it. I think a newsletter may be fun for all of us. (Rather than a second blog.) Yes, I did mention that as an option earlier this week.


A Prayer For My Friends Who Went There


A Prayer For My Friends Who Went There

May every fiber of your body, soul and spirit listen with all that you have and all that you are.

May you seek the smallest of those who are hurt, with the eyes of your heart. With clarity and tenderness of spirit.

Stand gentle strong, stand gentle brave, in Christ alone. In Christ alone.

Reach close and far, wide and deep, narrow and to every point circling the place where you stand, in love.

Know that you are loved by the Saints not there. Hear our prayers, know our prayers, ingest the words of those who stayed behind. In love. With love.

Drink from The Well, often, drawing moment by moment on strength that comes from Christ. Oh Holy Spirit bless, oh Holy Spirit strengthen. Oh Holy Spirit, heal.

Don’t drown in worry or fear about your husbands, and children and wives who remained at home. Lord, protect. Lord, cover, Lord bless the families of this group.

Speak with wisdom, discernment and love. But listen more. And listen hard. God have mercy. God give grace. God give extra measures of wise words and discerning hearts.

And when it is time and leave, and pain remains. Cover , Lord God, the people who have come to serve You, let them leave in the knowledge that You will continue to do a good work here.

And when it is time to say goodbye to new friends. And relationships have been birthed  among the hurting, carry this group home safely and give them the knowledge that You will bless the work of their hands, their hearts, their lips.

Lord we ask travel mercies. Lord we ask your presence. Lord we ask what we can say and do.

As we continue to pray in humility and with hope…..Amen.


This prayer was penned in love for my friends who traveled to Ferguson. To help, to listen, to listen some more, to hear, to love, and to seek. Praying for you my precious friends. And for everyone there who is hurting, angry, or confused. My smallness feels particularly small right now. But I am offering what I have. e

Can I Get A BIg Amen and A Few Things Parenthetically


Can I Get A Big Amen

The view changes
From way down here
I slipped and fell
On the egg shells
Horizontal view, perspective head in the dirt
Smells fresh
No longer  in the clouds
Splayed out on the floor
By the shift
Get down here
Lower still than you have gone before
Keep bending lower til
You drown in
Pools of grace
Purposefully to soften the
Bubbles and have some
Fun, worry not
You borrow from the unknown
But stay awhile
The view is better than on high
How low can you go
Jesus stooped and bent and crouched
Washed the feet
Meet me here
The view is
What it is
The weather is beautiful
Low, cheek pressed to the cold earth
Wish you were here
We shall rise together, one day

But for now can I get a Hallelujah chorus
Can I get a big amen

A change is comin.


And a few things parenthetically, thank you for being here. A journey into poetry and prose is most wonderful with one or two along for the journey. You can jump over to facebook and follow along there. There is a lot going on these days there and on twitter.

I am sharing words and poems and art of others and my own. Come along and join me. The view is poetic.

I think you have to like me on facebook to follow me on facebook. Sorry if that is too strong a term. It is the only choice you have on facebook these days. But wow if you do.

Elizabeth W. Marshall, viewing life through a lens of grace on facebook

and @graceappears on twitter

If You Will Walk Beside Me


Will you walk beside me

On the level ground

Of the holy cross

Not out front, ahead, so slight

My view is of an eyeless back

Forging fast ahead

And I can see your imprint

Leaving me behind

When I see your back

I see no face at all

Just someone rushing fast ahead

Fixed on a mission of their own

There are no portals of your soul

Gazing back at me

The words are lost

And I am deafened

By the silence

On the path of one who walks

WIth single-mindedness

And do not walk behind me

I cannot see your face

Or heart, your voice, your soul, your cries

Or wipe your salty tears

There is no sister to my left nor

Even to my right

When I am weary and  alone

Grab my hand and hold it tight

And walk beside me to the cross

To grounds of level fields of grace

Where dark rich soil of mercy waits

To hold or bear a million strong

Or even maybe more

Sojourners on the journey

Who walk not proud

Nor out in front

There’s power in a strong wide berth

That presses forward facing storms

That choose to stand on ground en masse

Encouraging and holding hands

So grab your life, your gift, your pen

You writers of the words

And walk with and beside me

As we cross the ground

Headed toward the sacred place, the cross of common ground

And with our words

We’ll all be heard

We ‘ll walk and stumble, not alone

March or crawl

Together, shoulders side by side

If you’ll but walk with me

My aging hands are reaching out to link

With sisters on the road

Would you  humbly go with me

Sojourners on a common road.


Joining Jennifer Dukes Lee