Playdates with God: Red Dress

I’m not very good at goodbyes.
So when she tells us she’s leaving, there’s that mixed up bit of happy and sad and I just don’t want to think about it. You are brave, I tell her. And we laugh about that conversation we had one time in the hall about how this place is like a dysfunctional family—no matter how unhappy we are, it feels impossible to leave. But she’s leaving…moving south for love and happiness. She is brave and I am not—so I try not to think about it.
I dreamed we were in Paris, I tell her. And I was on top of the Eiffel Tower or something. You were wearing a red dress. I looked out over the city and you were lost to me. But suddenly—I saw the red dress in the crowd. You shone for miles and miles…
She grins and looks down when I tell her and I can see how glad she is—how good this is. And when the last day comes, I wrap her in words. I give the gift she asked for—a poem.
And when the day ends, I leave without saying goodbye.
A Goodbye for C.
it’s the way of                                                  
the daffodil                                                    
to push against                                   
frozen ground and                             
poke sleepy face
through the snow-
blanketed earth.
and how must
it feel when the
hard shell of the
seed breaks
wide open and
insides become
skin—when what
was hidden strains
toward light?
it’s  the way a
star erupts into
from the inside
out and shines
for miles and
it’s the rock
hewn into form,
given a face
with edges
away, rough places
broken and blasted
fragile flower
broken shell
star on fire
stone-hewed heart…
this is the way
to dance through
the days…
donning a red dress
in the springtime
of Paris.
How do you embrace the God-joy? Every Monday I’ll be sharing one of my Playdates with God. I would love to hear about yours. It can be anything: outside, quiet time. Maybe it’s solitary. Maybe it’s loud and crowded. Just find Him. Be with Him. Grab my button at the bottom of the page and join us:
the Playdates button:


Sharing with L.L. Barkat today also: 

On In Around button

Photo by Franz St. Sourced via Flickr Creative Commons.


  1. says

    What a beautiful gift of words that is, Laura.

    When my oldest son left home for college at a service academy several years ago, I could not get “goodbye” past the lump in my throat. I determined from then on that instead of even trying to say “goodbye,” I’d just give him a hug and say, “I love you.”

  2. says

    What a beautiful good by story!

    The dream was quite a gift to both of you, I think!

    I love the poem! It reminded me of something that happened yesterday, where I got to watch a baby chick fight to get out of his shell.


  3. says

    I want to put on that red dress and dance in the springtime. What a beautiful send-off poem you gave your friend. She is blessed to have had you in her life, Laura. May God bless her richly in her new ventures!

  4. says

    I hope this gift of words and heart blesses your friend and comforts you in her loss. Thanks for sharing this personal moment of loss and yet beauty, Laura.

  5. says

    Beautiful! I’m sorry for the parting from your friend, but what a gift you gave her in both dream and poem. I don’t like good-byes either. May the Father of mercies comfort you.

  6. says

    Laura, that image of the red dress linked to courage is powerful. Love how you gave your friend the sweet gift of strong words. I am feeling your bittersweet… have said goodbye to far too many friends lately- ones chasing God sized dreams that make me proud and awed and inspired.. yet the empty spot remains here where I still am. Praying for you both.

  7. says

    I love the delicate wording of your poem. May your goodbyes to good friends also come with helloes to new friends.

    “His unchanging plan has always been to adopt us into his own family by sending Christ to die for us; and he did this because he wanted to.”

    You are definitely adopted into his own family, even if you sometimes feel the sadness of friendship-partings.

  8. says

    What a perfectly beautiful gift Laura.
    I don’t like good-byes either. The hollow feeling in the pit of my stomach begins days before we have to make the trip to the airport. I would so much rather just stay home by my weepy self.

  9. says

    I think she was asking to take part of you with her when she asked for the poem. And what a beauty you gave her. Goodbyes are never easy. I’ve had to do it too many times to count.

  10. says

    The perfect gift~a poem. What pointed and lovely pictures it creates. Hugs in the tenderness of cheering for a friend while mourning her movement onward.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *