I feel a little more alone today. After months of avoiding the inevitable, today the harsh reality that one of my mentors and best friends drove off into the sunset with family in tow for a fresh adventure in a new state. In my heart, I knew the last time we sat and had lunch together two weeks ago would be THE last time. The hug from my wife as the reality set in would never be long enough to make going through the day any easier.
Is there such a thing as a good “Good-bye”?
Is it selfish to not want it to happen, even if it’s the best thing?
Can you really ever say everything you want to in a good-bye?
There are always words left unsaid with a good-bye. You can never really express what’s in your heart. It’s really more of an intentional eye contact, a nod of the head, and a casual “I Know”. My problem was that we avoided even that much. We treated it as a “See you later” with a few more miles in between, but I’ve seen too many friends leave to know the reality is despite Skype, Facebook, and data phones, those few miles have a greater impact on your relationship than you want to admit. And as much as his new life will be different in a new place, life staying behind will be very different as well.
As I’ve grown older and experienced more of life, I’ve come to the harsh reality that there are very few truly good people in this world. My friend was one of the very best. His life was about intentionally building relationships. He never networked or politicked. In a world where it’s so easy to get distracted by careers, money, and popularity he showed people came first. He cared and loved without realizing the deep impact he made on other peoples lives. To him it was natural. Why wouldn’t you treat people that way?
His family was the single most important thing to him. An enviably confusing juxtaposition to the world around him. He taught me that kissing heads on pillows at night and telling stories are more important than any position or possession this world has to offer. At the end of life, you’ll never wish you had one more day in the office.
My life is forever changed thanks to him. I’m on a path that I can honestly say I would have never seen myself on had he not seen something in me that I wasn’t aware. He saved my from myself in many ways. Our lives are far from over and the while the path that we’ve been on is split now for a time, it will bring us together again. For what purpose God only knows. It’s the beauty of friendship. For the time being, I must reluctantly say good-bye and the world may feel a little less friendly for a while. But the seed he planted will not fail to blossom.
Thank you Big Shooter, you’ve changed my life and made me a better person.