The Goodbye Dance

My December post dealt with traditions—and the importance, to me, of creating them. I view traditions as a tool to tie one generation to the next. They create the base on which we can build memories and provide us with ways to share one generation’s stories with the other.

Which brings me to………. The Goodbye Dance.

A close friend of mine at work, Kathy Davis, shared with me a couple of years ago her family tradition called The Goodbye Dance. She was telling me about being at the airport with her family and as the family member was going past security and so forth, they were all doing The Goodbye Dance.

The guard asked them what they were doing (for obvious reasons, may I add) and she explained the tradition to him. He then told her that he thought she had the neatest family.

Basically, The Goodbye Dance (TGD), is simply doing whatever you want—wave your hands in the air; twirl around; do footwork; shake your shoulders or hips; etc.—and from what I can tell, it can be done by those staying or those leaving…… the rules are flexible. You just keep “dancing” until the person is no longer in view.

I immediately saw potential.

So, I began doing TGD with my granddaughter Lauren—at the end of Nana Days or other times when I would leave, I would tell her to go to her dining room window and I would do TGD. She would stand there, her face pressed to the glass and I would laugh and twirl and shake my hips and wave my hands in the air.

I also have a hand “signal” for “I love you” which is to touch my eyes with two fingers then touch my heart and then point at her. She would repeat that back to me.

When Lauren was in the 3 year old class at Childcare, her room was next to a window. If I happened to take her to school or came to her ballet class, she would be mopey when I would leave—sometimes teary eyed. I would tell her to go to the window and I would do TGD.

She would run to the window…..and I would stand outside and twirl around and wave my hands in the air—while signaling “I love you.” (It is truly amazing that the staff never called security. But then, they have gotten to know me and probably do not think a thing of it!)

She would stay at the window and watch me walk to my car where I had to do a few more steps of the dance—I would then hop in the car and as I drove past her I would roll down the window and signal “I love you” one more time. Her frowns and mopey look would be replaced with smiles and giggles.

Recently Lauren participated in TGD.  In the beginning of January, we went to the Tellus Museum in Cartersville (totally awesome by the way) and were joined by the Gentleman Caller with Smiling Eyes. After the outing, we all went back to my condo and he was leaving to go home. I told Lauren we needed to do TGD. I

t was drizzling and a cloudy day so she joined me in the garage and we jumped and waved and twirled—giving him a proper sendoff.  She laughed and giggled and would shout “Travel Safe” (Nana’s Rule #3: details to be shared in another blog posting.)

We were two women…….separated by age but joined by tradition.

The title of this blog has the word Joy in it and that word was deliberately chosen. I realize that life cannot be a party…..nor can it be fun all the time…..but if we choose, we can find ways to find joy. That is, to me, the secret of a truly blessed and full life…to find joy in the ordinary events of life or to take steps to create the opportunities for joy.

Even if it means from time to time waving your hands in the air and twirling around in circles.

jfh