Say Goodbye or not?

To Say Goodbye, or not?


Letting go is painful. But we have a choice.

Before the U.S. housing market crash, my husband became unemployed and could only find work in a state thousands of miles and three time zones away. A place called Arizona.

Accepting the job would force us to say goodbye to the life we knew and the dreams we’d had.

Did we want to do that? Or not?

We left saying see you later instead of goodbye to our family and friends knowing we’d be back to visit.

Years later we left Arizona with a similar see you later instead of goodbye because we were landlords. We had a house we tried to flip that landed upside down that tethered us. (More details available in my book)

Finally, the market turned so we could unload our rental property. We took our final business trip back to Arizona to cut the tether and say goodbye. Or so we thought.

What really tethers our hearts?


Or not?

When we arrived at the Phoenix airport we were greeted with emotions we hadn’t planned on and a flood of memories. This place we were coming to say goodbye to grabbed ahold of our hearts and brought tears to my eyes as we walked through the airport.

We made plans to arrive early for our return flight to savor the time and validate what I deemed to be sentimental feelings.

However, things were different by the end of our trip.


Emotions and memories speak

On the plane, I watched the movie, Lion.

It’s an incredible story of a little boy named Saroo who got lost and separated from his family in India by things outside his control. Against the odds, he survives on the streets until he lands in an orphanage and gets adopted by a loving couple in Australia.

He adapts well but his heart yearns for the family he came from. His emotions and memories refused the goodbye forced upon him.

When I lived in Arizona I felt like I lived in a different country. I yearned for my family.

But now I’m back with them. So I didn’t understand our emotional response to arriving in Phoenix.

Letting go is painful. Click To Tweet


Making time to say goodbye?

It had been a while since we visited so we made time to visit places and friends we’d known when we lived there. By cutting the financial tether we expected this was goodbye and wanted to savor the moments.


Say Goodbye or not?

We started with plans for dinner at our favorite restaurant The Elephant Bar but it’s not there anymore. A goodbye we didn’t get to say.

However, our friends welcomed us into their home after dinner surprising us with a birthday cake to celebrate the three of us who share the same birth month.



Say Goodbye or not?

The next night we enjoyed the super thin crust pizza of Oregano’s – something I’d thought I’d never like.

In Michigan, it’s mostly deep dish and when I first arrived in Arizona I was not interested in converting.


Yet here I was, making time to eat what I once refused while catching up with a friend who encouraged us to do the travel we talked about.

Why are we saying goodbye again?

Some people come into our lives & touch our heart so deeply that we will never be the same again. ~ Unknown Click To Tweet

Say Goodbye or not?


We drove past our old house near South Mountain and took the white knuckle drive up to the summit to eat lunch in the scorching August heat.

The rangers were there looking for the rattlesnake someone called to report.

I have no interest in rattlesnakes but I love the view from Dobbins Lookout.



Say Goodbye or not?



After lunch, we descended to the valley and drove to Old Town Scottsdale for a final visit.

Walking about was taxing because August is not the best time to visit yet here we were enjoying it anyway.


Why are we braving this heat?




Say Goodbye or not?


We were starting to wonder if we could say goodbye as we headed out to dinner with more friends we had shared many meals with before.





The following day we spent at the hotel giving ourselves the needed rest before our final day, and final goodbyes?

Do we want to say goodbye or not?

What really tethers our hearts? Click To Tweet

Say Goodbye or not?


A girlfriend and co-worker from my first job in Arizona came out to see me at Westgate.

We had bonded over moving pains and births of out of state grandbabies.



Say Goodbye or not?


We had lunch at the Yard House at Westgate with more friends who had supplied the baby toys for our grandson when he came to visit us because we didn’t have any.

I still have those toys and my fourth grandchild plays with them.




Say Goodbye or not?


We had our final visit with friends at a different Yard House sharing the miracle of their daughter Olivia and hopes for the future.



Some people come into our lives and touch our heart so deeply that we will never be the same again. ~ Unknown


There is no goodbye for what becomes a part of you

All these friends made time for us on a holiday weekend. Some wanted to but were not able.

Spending the time in favorite places and with friends revealed the true tether is the heart connection.

 (spoiler alert on the movie Lion)

When we first moved to Arizona there was a part inside of me like little Saroo in Lion that screamed to be rescued like he did when he was traumatically trapped on the train. Trauma is personal.

He had no idea it was taking him a lifetime away from all he knew and that he’d never be the same again.

I had no idea how life changing our move to Arizona and back to Michigan would be and that I’d never be the same again.

He had no idea the opportunity this tragedy would provide.

I had no idea I would not be able to say goodbye to something I once wanted to be rescued from ;

He had no idea his heart connection would find and restore his relationship with his original family without losing the new one he’d gained.

I had no idea the amazing relationships I would gain.

The true tether is the heart connection. Click To Tweet


Some people come into our lives and quickly go. Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same. ~ Flavia Weedn


Life sometimes forces goodbyes on us but other times we have a choice to say goodbye or not.

We went to Arizona this time and expected to say goodbye. We left embracing our heart connection and changed our goodbye into a see you later.

There is no goodbye for what becomes a part of you. Click To Tweet

What next:

  • What kind of goodbyes have you been through?
  • How have your heart connections, emotions and memories helped or hurt you?
  • For more of my story get a copy of my book and know you’re not aloneyour story isn’t over ;
  • Will you let me encourage you every week? Click here

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12 thoughts on “To Say Goodbye, or not?

  1. Danielle, I loved this post. It really made me think about the reluctant moves and transitions I’ve had in my own life… lot of them. Some were by choice and some I had no choice at all. I loved your comparison to LION. It remains one of my favorite movies.

    1. Thank you Sandy. I’m happy it spoke to you. It was quite an emotional trip.

      I loved LION also and hope to watch it again.

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

  2. Great post indeed. It brought up a lot of memories from my own journey.

    Yes, we also had to make a decision to move away from our family (and we are still about 700 KM away from them today). We are grateful to have our children close to us though – they were still little when we moved, got married in the mean time and both are living close to us today.

    So we also had our goodbyes; location, sporting career of many years, friends and family. It often leaves us wondering about the question – “why?” Why did all this happen? Why did we meet certain people in the process just to lose contact shortly afterwards? Why, why, why? I don’t know. But as you rightly say, it often works out differently to what you think it would.

    One thing I’ve learned in all of this: we will most likely never really know why, but we do gain lots of experience and knowledge in the process and we become stronger.

    Thanks for sharing this great post with us, Danielle.

    Have great day!

    1. You’re welcome, Jaco. I’m glad my words touched your heart.

      Thank you for sharing your journey as well. I happy for you that you have your children close. It makes a big difference.

      Thank you for reading and commenting. Have a great day too!!

  3. Great post, Danielle. Having worked for a publisher of relocation books, I can attest that what you experienced is very real for MANY people, including children. It’s important to focus on the positives of both your former and new locations, and as you mentioned, to allow yourself time to say goodbye to both friends and places.

    1. Thank you, Dalene.
      I didn’t know there were “relocation books”. I probably could have used that back then.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  4. Great post. As a former Michigan resident who now lives full-time in Phoenix, I really get it. But I too have lived in many places – and those friends always stay with you.

    1. Thank you.
      It’s amazing how many people from Michigan live in Arizona.
      You’re right – The heart connections stay.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

  5. Gorgeously written. I go back and forth between California (where I reside) and Texas, where my family and childhood friends are. Each visit, it’s always surprisingly difficult for me to leave. I think it has to do with my (and most people, really) resistance to change. But you’re correct that the true connections exist in our heart and will never be severed by mere geography.

    1. Thank you, Kate.
      I feel for you. That back and forth is emotional. I was so thankful for technology that helped bridge the gap as well as recordable books for my grandkids. The commitment to the relationship is a big thing too.
      Thanks for reading and commenting.

Please share your thoughts!