Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Saying Good-Bye to the Old and Saying Hello To the New by Jo Ann Brown

Life is a woven tapestry of having to say good-bye to one aspect of it and saying hello to another. I always thought that a graduation ceremony,
instead of being called “commencement,” should be more of “Hail and Farewell” as we had in the military when a high-ranking officer cycles out and another takes her or his place. A celebration of both the leaving and the arrival. Throughout our lives, we have periods of time when we are settled and times when we’re packing up and moving on.
Sometimes, this is literal. We find we have to move from our home to another place. It might be a job change or retirement or even going to college or simply buying that RV and seeing the world. Right now, we’re helping my father with that good-bye. He’s getting ready to sell the house, the only one my parents ever owned, that he’s lived in since the early 1970's. It was part of our family even before they bought it, because my mother’s parents rented the downstairs apartment before it was converted to a single family. Nearly fifty years later, he’s realized that taking care of that big house is more than he wants to deal with,
so my sisters and I are helping him sort through years of possessions and deciding what he wants to keep, what he wants to sell and what he wants to give away. For all of us, it’s a farewell moment, a reopening of the past as we look at photos and through items we’d once been familiar with but had forgotten or simply put out of our minds. His “hello” moment will be when he moves into his new apartment at my sister’s house and no longer has the responsibility for a big house...though he still intends to keep busy by doing things like mowing the grass and puttering in the garden.
Life is made up of these moments of change. Change caused by outside circumstances, change caused by others, change caused by ourselves. After all, isn’t that what our romance stories are about...how someone is changed by someone who comes into their life at a pivotal moment? It’s always so comforting to me, as a reader, to see how the hero and heroine (and their families and friends) step up to confront change and make it work in a positive direction for them.
Though there’s always that moment when a reader is hoping that everything doesn’t crash down in disaster!
Right now, I’m facing a few endings and beginnings of my own. In life and in my writing.
My upcoming book The Amish Widower’s Twins will be final book in my Amish Spinster Club series. Releasing in mid-June in print, it’s a book that I felt really sorry to finish because I have enjoyed writing about a new Amish community set near my home town. On the other hand, I’m now working a new Amish series, Green Mountain Blessings, that will begin in December 2019. I’m getting to meet a whole new collection of characters and work with them as they go through their own endings and new beginnings. Just like when we read a book by a favorite author, it’s sad to have one series come to an end, but, oh, how delicious it is to begin something brand new! Who knows what waits us in the days to come?


  1. Jo Ann, change is so much apart of our lives, though I have to admit, I'm not a fan of it, but I'm learning as I get older to be more accepting. Each moment that brings changes to our lives can also bring an opportunity. Thanks so much for sharing. Looking forward to your new series.

  2. Bless you for helping your dad through this move. I have a houseful of "treasures" and am dreading our next move and the huge pile of trash we'll generate. :)

    Praying for your dad as he leaves the old behind and embraces his new life, hopefully with joy and enthusiasm.

  3. Hi JoAnn. WOW. This post really hit home. My father is in the same position and having to deal with the notion of selling a beloved home that my parents bought back in 1972. The house is three stories and was built to accommodate a large family. At 85 it's just too much for him. Goodbyes can be so painful.Change is difficult, but it can also bring about so many good things. I like that your dad will be doing fun things like gardening. It will keep him young and in good spirits. Blessings and wishing him well.


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