Photos for January Stones and April PAD 2012 property of M J Dills (exception 1/16)

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Today’s prompt from NAIWE is:

“If you had to eliminate one word or phrase from the English language, what would it be? Why?”


What’s the one thing I hate to say? Goodbye. The times in the past I have said goodbye on both sides of the border blend into a mix of waving arms, blown kisses, tears, laughter, hugs and kisses, ending in a barrage of hellos.
Goodbye quite often results in hello, with an interlude between. I prefer hello.

When I left Mexico permanently, after more than ten years, a series of farewell parties that lasted over a month’s time saw me off. They began with a surprise birthday party
in a gorgeous cliff-side villa, celebrating with nearly thirty friends. Only one person realized it was a swan song party: me. It was a tough evening, bringing me back to the location I’d begun so many years ago. I was surrounded by loving friends and family, all whom I realized with each greeting, I’d have to tell I was leaving. I’d misplaced my glasses that evening and couldn't see well, which added to an imbedded angst that would simmer within me for weeks: the knowledge that I was truly saying goodbye. (Spanish says it so much better…Adios…with God.) There is rarely anything good about goodbye.

Over the weeks, as I prepared my move, I was cast into a role of comforting others who cried at the thought of my departure. Party following party stretched the agony of leaving in a manner not unlike bloodletting; little by little, a few drops at a time.

The week before I flew away, like a bird migrating in the wrong direction, not looking back, I attended seven dinners, six lunches, a breakfast, three parties and on the final day, a coffee klatch. I must have said well over a hundred goodbyes. One last trip up the coast to bid farewell to my old lover, my ranchero, my melancholy Mexican sealed the omen that I was now finished and this was, indeed, the last goodbye. I would never again linger in the mind of hellos with this man, who was the essence of Mexico for me, the fountain of my youth.

My daughter doesn’t like to say goodbye and sometimes refuses to, disappearing at the last moment. “It’s just so final,” she says, as she verbalizes what I feel, declines hugs, turns a sad face. She has inherited my aversion for goodbyes along with my distaste for spiders. When I was a child, I hid under tables and bushes, depending on the season, when it was time for friends and family to depart. My daughter shared this habit and I see her daughter developing the same manner.

Maybe we can be like the fish that live on the bottom of the ocean who no longer have eyes because for so many generations they didn’t use them, so their eyes ceased to exist. If we just stop saying goodbye, perhaps we can stop thinking of it, too, and survive without it.

Thank you for reading.


  1. I love the picture you're using here. Do you know whose it is? It really looks like a Wyeth...
    Sharon I

  2. It's an early Dali. I have a print of it and it's one of my all time favorites. It is called "Figure at a Window," I believe and the model was his sister, Ana Maria.