Learning to say “good-bye”-and hopefully doing it well-is something that simply comes with getting older. We say good bye to our youth, to some of our dreams and eventually to some of the people that walked the road with us.
We spend our early years saying hello to life and to its opportunities. We welcome new things and new people as we explore who we are and get to see who we are becoming. The doors are open to all that life has to offer; and then there are those very, very special people who (if we are lucky) walk our “road of life” with us.
These are the quiet companions, the hilarious hell-raisers, the wise-before-their-time compatriots that we quite often take for granted. “Well, heck, that’s my old pal Joe. I’ve known that guy forever. Let me tell you about the time we . . .”
These are the special people who share our youth and listen to our sometimes wild dreams; they cheerfully (or wobbly themselves) hold our head over a toilet; and give us a big smile that says, “Pal of mine, ain’t life grand?” They quite simply ARE part of our lives and part of who we are. They are those that always “show up” when the chips are down or when a celebration is in need of sharing.
These are the friends and lovers that never held back. They tore into life with fervor and delight and often took us along for the ride. Or, they came along with us willingly on adventures insane or sorrowful. These are the people that ripped us a “new one” when it was called for and went looking for a baseball bat when we needed defending. These are the friends that answered the phone at 2:00 a.m. and really, really listened; and they really, really cared. And, we listened and cared right back.
Then they are gone. And we are so much the poorer for it. But there can be a richness in the remembering; in the recollection of this man or woman that no longer is there to share our laughter and our tears. Their actions and antics and the sound of their laughter can still echo down the hallways of our days. That they lived well and fully and did not stint in their love for us has marked our days and will continue to mark our future.
Hello, hello, my dear friend. Welcome to my life and now, welcome to my memory.