Today I helped an old friend load up what was left of his stuff, hugged his neck, told him I loved him and said goodbye; he’s relocating to the western part of the country. It’s interesting how our environment shapes us as we grow. He grew up as an Air Force brat and thinks nothing about packing up and moving; it’s just part of who he is and how he was raised. I’m firmly rooted in North Alabama and although we lived in the DC area a couple of times we knew the assignments were temporary and we would come home again to Huntsville.
This friend was really more than a friend; when I was working and could afford to pay him, he was my trainer in the gym two mornings each week for an hour.
While he put me through some grueling workouts, we talked about many different things; I’ve probably known him since the eighties or early nineties. The mornings I was not in the gym with Don I was usually on the Aldridge Creek Greenway jogging with Greg. Greg moved away several years ago and now my other early morning partner is leaving too. My mornings and workouts seem empty now; I have missed Greg for a long time and now I’m already missing Don.
Although it’s sad for me, Don is excited about the new opportunities ahead of him and I’m happy that he’s happy. I can’t help but think it is highly unlikely that I will see him again, although it is possible. And I think that made it harder than I expected to say goodbye. Saying goodbye to an old friend is just another one of life’s hard things to do.
So long, my friend, and Godspeed!