Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Au Revoir, Farewell

And so we come to the end.

I’ve thought and prayed about this for some time. Since I started this blog, my work has picked up dramatically. As I was leaving for the land on Friday, an editor e-mailed with two assignments needing a quick turn around. With these, I have five stories due by May 15. In December, having so many deadlines at once seemed like a fluke. Now, it’s beginning to feel like the new normal. After two lean years, that’s a huge blessing. But it takes a lot of my time.

My Al-Anon commitments have also increased. When I began blogging, I was just beginning to get involved in service. Today, I have five sponsees, prison service and Alateen commitments in addition to my committed meetings. That’s a blessing, too. Nothing has helped me to grow more in this program than being of service to others.

This blog, too, has helped me grow in recovery. When I was blogging every day, I felt like I was attending a large, dynamic, daily Al-Anon meeting. Picking a topic and sharing on it helped to crystalize my thoughts and sometimes revealed thoughts I didn’t realize I had. Visiting all of your blogs brought other topics to the forefront of my consciousness. Your comments and encouragement have fed me. In many ways, blogging kept me more on the beam than anything else I have done.

But more and more, I struggle to post even once a week. It’s harder still to return visits to all of you who have been kind enough to leave comments. What’s more, I find myself wanting to post on a topic only to remember that I’ve blogged about it before. I have this picture in my head of an old woman staying too late at the party, repeating stories that the other guests have heard too many times, chattering away as one then another of the guests make their excuses and leave. There is art, I think, in knowing when to go home.

There are plenty of other bloggers who are able to keep their blogs fresh year after year and sometimes I think I should be able to do so, too. But my program has taught me that comparing myself to others is not helpful. I am simply not them.

I’ve titled this blog post au revoir rather than goodbye. I do so with a nod to an early college professor of mine, Mr. Cousins, who taught English Literature. He was one of my most frustrating teachers, because no matter how hard I tried I could not get an A in his class. No matter how hard I pored over “Ode to A Grecian Urn” or “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place,” dissecting each piece of literature line by line, I always missed the nuances.

For the life of me I can’t think of the name of the story I’m thinking of. But I remember clearly the final irony. It was the story’s last words: au revoir. I had taken French and so I thought I understood what the phrase means. I understood it to be synonymous with goodbye. Not so, Mr. Cousins had said. The phrase, more precisely, means until we meet again. And it was that nuance that leant irony to the ending.

And so I say au revoir. Because life is long and much can happen, and for all I know God may have other plans for me. I have seen other bloggers quit only to return a short time later. I don’t believe in closing doors. At least not anymore.

Not long ago, I learned from a fellow classmate that Mr. Cousins had died. I was sorry to hear it. For all my frustrations with him, and they were many, Mr. Cousins got me to think. He taught me things that I remember to this day. And so I titled this post as I did also in the hope that even if I never return to the blogosphere, some little thing I wrote here may have resonated and become a part of your story, too.

The other half of my title is what I hope for you. That whatever life and God as you understand God has in store for you, that you, dear friends, fare well.


  1. I'll miss receiving your words of wisdom. Hope we "meet" again. Good luck

  2. Dear Kathy,
    When I saw your title my heart sank knowing what it meant before I read it. Take care, my friend.
    You have so many talents and I pray that you touch others in your life how your stories have touched me. I have learned to graciously let go of others even though you will be missed.

    Au Revior. It makes me think of Dr. T. I like that better than goodbye.

    Until we meet again I will know you are spreading the love of the Father to so many.


  3. kathy, i will miss you so very much! it sounds like God is filling your plate with the blessings He's prepped you for. congratulations!

    i'm not usually one for long comments, but your blog was so special in my early sobriety it would be silly of me not to say why. i don't know how i found your blog, kathy, but boy oh boy am i glad i did! your writing style and content resonated immediately with me.

    on the morning of april 12 (my sober date) i got a my scariest call EVER from my doctor's office, warning me for third or fourth time to stop drinking NOW. i had previously dismissed my doctor's dramatic and inane suggestion to join AA. but that phone call snapped me out of my hangover fog and i began sobbing. through tears i googled AA. i stumbled upon references to the Big Book and began reading the BB on-line.

    hours later i stumbled onto your blog, kathy. and even though you were writing from an al-anon perspective, i immediately related to you. like you, i am a daughter and the mother of a daughter. reading your posts was like listening to my own voice. i went to my first AA meeting that evening. and in a matter of days i started my own AA blog. surrounded by so many strangers in the rooms, i used your blog as my lighthouse guiding me with its beacon to a safe place.

    so THANK YOU, kathy. your blog helped save my life. your stories encouraged me to keep going and not give up on my sobriety. i will miss you in this place, but i'm glad i had the opportunity to dwell in your life.

    au revoir to you too! (((HUGS)))

    love, mia

  4. Awwww. I will miss you. Thank you for all of your many contributions to my thought processes and your encouragement along the way. You have been a precious part of my blogger world and I will miss you. Maybe you will be back? When the time is right. I can hope. ((HUGS))

  5. It is maturity to know when something has run it's course with me I have to wait until I am overcome with dread before I quit. Sometimes I feel I am repeating myself in my own writing but maybe someone different will read it.

    You can always come back and bring us a fresh perspective. Having a lot of work is good and I wish you well. Until we meet again.

  6. Will miss you Kathy. I always learned so much from you. Thank you for being faithful. Blessings.

  7. goin to miss ya!

    many blessings
    and Huggs

  8. Fairwell to you my friend,I will miss you.

  9. I will miss you so much! What a loss to blogland... you have always had so much to say and I do hope you change your mind and come in once in a while just to tell us how it's all going.

    I was hoping you'd let me post your blog from the grand canyon in the steppers' wisdom carnival next month. If you don't object, I'd still really like to...

  10. Good idea to let go of a blog to tend to the real life issues. I hope you post something here once in awhile. If you don't, I know how to reach you. I am so happy for your work increase. Hugs to you.

  11. You will be missed please stop by and visit...when it feels right.

  12. Kathy, I have benefitted from your posts and comments. I wish you the best. I struggle at times to find some thing to share but just writing about life experiences seems to fit the bill of practicing the principals in all my affairs. Take care and come back if you so desire.

  13. It has been my dream to hike the Grand Canyon. Do you have an organization or tips to get me started on the journey? It sounds like you are very familiar with it. Thanks

  14. I hope it is 'au revoir' Kathy. Thank you so much for your blog. It has been such a help to me. I do hope you leave it up here.

    All the best for the future. Drop in sometimes and let us know how you are.

  15. Just came on by to give another hug.

  16. I stopped back in on my blog and just noticed the title of your's. You will be missed, but those who have read your blog over time have benefited from all your wisdom and colorful stories on life lessons. Know you helped in changing my life for the better. You know I have many of your posts printed out for reference. JUST TODAY my husband did something and I thought of the coffee cup and said to myself, "It's not mine, DON'T pick it up"!
    It was great sharing blog-time with you. I hope you do stop in to say hi - even write a post even if it's only once a year :) I know you go in God's will.
    God bless you Kathy & thanks for the many great and memorable posts.
    Heather's Mom

  17. God is good. Have a great life and like Technobabe said, stop in once in a while if you feel like it.

    You'll be missed!

  18. sounds like a positive transition for you :) wishing you all the best always, kathy! it was an honor to be in contact with you and i appreciate the wisdom you shared and the kindness you showed here~

  19. We all ebb and flow as our lives shift..... I will be praying for you my friend.... I have so appreciated all your encouragement and support! Do not be a stranger!
    (If you need a word of encouragement, you know where to find me!)
    ~Just for today

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  22. au revoir et bonne chance, mon frere.

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  24. Sadly, I am just seeing this. I am sorry to see you go. I have so enjoyed your comments on my blog and reading your thoughts about your life as you live it. Many blessings be upon you and I hope to see you back one day when the fit is right.

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