Glimpses Of Goodbye

There are images that linger, that steal into our line of vision and lodge themselves forever in our hearts when we say goodbye.

There is a sense of time and space being moulded, formed into something recognisable for always, a metaphysical photograph folded carefully and kept in our pockets.

Remembrance can be dismal. It can be full of grey clouds and wet roads, but it can also be a reminder that there is still much in this life to love.

Like birds and flowers. Apples and stained glass.

And the things people hold dear.

On Friday we said goodbye to Louisa. A mother, a daughter, a woman we hardly knew. But we learned towards the end that she liked poppies, Emily Bronte and the way the afternoon light shone through the windows casting celestial patterns on her bed.

And maybe in this world where sometimes we have to settle for knowing so little; maybe those precious little things were in fact enough.

I was preoccupied at the funeral like some Seagram’s toting jazz singer doing gigs at the worst dives in town to pay her rent. I have to sell my record collection and it is like selling my own children. Years of collecting, years of good times, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

I cried and cried at the funeral. Jules was surprised at my sorrow and I couldn’t tell her my tears were fuelled by selfishness, feeling sorry for myself for having to sell what is essentially just stuff when she has lost her mother. But those songs, those melodies have marked my life like etchings on the doorframe, chapters and pages I don’t really feel like closing.

Little Green Apples. One of my favourite songs ever. Sung by Bobbie Gentry and Glen Campbell on their 1968 album. I was kicking the dirt in the churchyard grumbling about having to let that song go when Jules felt the need to sing something as were saying goodbye to her mother. No one could think of a hymn, so I of course blurted out: God didn’t make little green apples. Jules knew the song straight away ( I have only played it for her about a thousand times) and somehow we all started to sing it. And somehow it seemed to fit.

And if that’s not loving me, then all I’ve got to say,
God didn’t make little green apples, and it don’t rain in Indianapolis in the summer time.
There’s no such thing as Dr. Seuss, Disneyland and Mother Goose is no nursery rhyme.
God didn’t make little green apples, and it don’t rain in Indianapolis in the summer time.
And when myself is feeling low, I think about her face aglow and ease my mind. *

I think that in addition to poppies, Emily Bronte and afternoon sunlight, Louisa might have liked little green apples too.

The sights, the sounds of the day brought gladness and gratitude, made us feel moving on from the sadness was possible; hope flourished and flew, dispersing through the sky as we gathered to us our glimpses of goodbye.

* Lyrics from Little Green Apples by Bobby Russell which won the Grammy for Song Of The Year in 1969.

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32 thoughts on “Glimpses Of Goodbye

  1. Sorry for your losses. People places and things, letting them go with love, does not take away the bittersweet empty hole of rememberance of the way things were.

    Keeping you and yours in my thoughts and prayers.

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  2. Letting go… is hard. I’m so sorry you’re having to do so much of it all at once. Our lives are tied up in people and things; they are part of us, part of our history. Losing them is losing parts of our own self, our own past. It’s ok to grieve, and not just for people, but for things too.

    Love to you and Jules.

    K-

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    1. Karen, thank you for saying it is OK to grieve for things too. I feel bad under the circumstances but I guess things shape our lives too. Thank you for your kind thoughts XXX

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  3. I think your choice of song was exactly right, especially given the circumstances of Jules’ relationship with her mother. It is so much better for her to remember the good times, the image of Louisa’s face aglow, and all the little things that told her that, despite their recent estrangement, her mother loved her.

    I’m not at all taken aback at the contributing source of your tears at the funeral. Occasions like funerals open the floodgates, and what comes pouring out is sometimes surprising.

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    1. It’s true, isn’t it, Patti? I guess the funeral acts as the catalyst for whatever else might be in there. It is good to cry though – it does help to put things into perspective. And I agree that it is much better to remember the good times. So important.

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  4. Oh I can relate to the pain of letting go ….too many times but there is a lesson in all of it I guess, just things I reminded myself, just things. The memories live on don’t they. And that song, oh how I love that song, I actually sing Little Green Apples on a regular basis and it always makes me happy and sad at the same time.

    I am sorry about what you had to give up Sel. I really am. I do understand too why it’s significant over and above just the selling too. I’ll think of you when I sing that song again and make a special wish for you too.

    Hugs, G

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    1. I know, G. They are just things. Of course we both know that but we also know how hard it is to let go of them. I am delighted you love Little Green Apples too. It’s a classic, isn’t it? It does have a happy/sad component, for sure. Now whenever I hear that song I will think of you.

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  5. I’m sorry for your friends loss and also for your loss of your beloved record collection. I know that song well, listened to it alot growing up. Loved bobbie gentry and glen campbell. I think it was a perfect choice to uplift at that moment!

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    1. The kids really liked the song, Cathy. They were feeling really bewildered because they only met their grandmother once and they are 8 and 10 years old. It’s shocking when you think about it. But I won’t go there now. Jules feels better about it all and that’s the main thing. I’ll get my collection back – bigger and better than before!!

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  6. My condolescences Selma and Jules. I can relate to the tears – at my girlfriend’s (was my best friend at school) father’s funeral, I cried so much that people started thinking he was my father. I often hum Little Green Apples to myself and to the kids (remember the shampoo advert). Such a shame you have to sell your records – maybe you could sell them to me and I’ll keep them for you đŸ˜‰

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    1. Now that’d be cool if you could keep my records for me. If only….. đŸ˜€

      I remember the ad and I used to use a green apple shampoo when I was a kid. It made your hair smell all appley. Haha. I don’t think they make it any more. It smelled so nice it was almost as if there was an apple in the bottle!!

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  7. My Grandma used to say that funerals should not be sad affairs, but celebrations of thanksgiving for the life of the person.

    And, I’m so sorry you had to sell your record collection. I know how you feel. I should dispose of my vinyl, for I no longer have the means to play them … I got rid of my audio tapes for the same reason some time ago … but I can’t bear the thought of them falling into the hands of some idiot who will use them to ‘scratch tracks’

    Elvis, the Rolling Stones, Herb Alpert, Jean-Michel Jarre, Mike Oldfield and Boney M deserve better than that!

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    1. I totally agree with that, funerals should be celebrations. I have some classic stuff in my collection – Hound Dog Taylor, Hendrix, a lot of blues stuff. Yesterday I sold one album for five hundred dollars. One album. The collectors want all the classic stuff if it’s the original pressing. It’s worth a fortune. They gather like people at the boxing day sales. Some of them don’t flinch at spending over three grand in one sitting. Thank God for original pressings and Mono recordings!!

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  8. I am really sorry for your loss. And i feel for Jules. I really do. This post has set off something in my heart…I might write something on similar lines soon..

    Sending hope and peace to Jules and your way…

    Hugs

    Childwoman

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  9. Gee, Selma, I understand only too well. I have had to get rid of my whole way of life and most of my possessions and start all over again. The shock still echoes and I can’t speak of it …

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    1. Oh, Adeeyoyo. That is just awful. I feel so bad you are facing that. The shock must be flooring you. If there is anything at all I can do please don’t hesitate to ask. I’m sorry, hon.

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  10. I read the first sentence of this post, Selma, and, wham, there they were – those things that “lodge themselves forever in our hearts”

    Your record collection is not just stuff – it is the stuff of your memories – grief plays out in the strangest of ways and we all have challenges that inform how we do so about those aspects of our lives that have meaning for us alone – but any friend would recognise that it’s sad that you have to close that chapter of your life, regardless of what they going through

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    1. Sometimes you’ve gotta go what you you’ve gotta do, Bluebee. Hey, I almost sound like a cowboy or a 1930s gangster. Hahaha. I have everything on CD so it’s cool but it is a wrench to let some of them go.

      You’re right – it’s the memories associated with the stuff that cause the difficulties. But when I’m a rich writer on top of the best seller lists I can buy them all again, right?? Hahaha.

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  11. I suppose it was deeper than you just having to get rid of your record collection – I mean, I don’t don’t mean to demean what the collection means to you, I really don’t. Music has played a very large part in my life, and I, like you, know that those songs within those cardboard sleeves let us travel back to the most meaningful moments of our lives. But I also suspect you were grieving for the changes life brings; changes like the loss of people, and changes in you. Selling those records is you bravely moving on to another period in your life, and letting go of a previous.

    I hope you write (wrote) down every one of your favourites from those records Selma. You will find those songs again; you’ll collect them again. In the meantime, take photos of your records, and bravely let them go.

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    1. You are so astute, Jennifer. That is exactly what it’s all about. At the end of the day a collection is just a collection. I was (am) grieving for the changes life brings. I don’t like change sometimes, but as we all know it is the only way to move forward. Thank you for your wisdom. I really need to hear it sometimes!

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