Forever and Ever…Goodbye…

I don't know how soon this is happening–the end of this month, perhaps, or the end of the next–a friend of mine is retiring. I won't lie…it kind of feels like a death. He's only a friend on the superficial level and he doesn't talk to me very much (or it goes in fits and spurts), so I'm afraid that when he retires, that's the end. He'll disappear into being a private citizen and I shouldn't expect to hear from him any longer.

I understand, though. He started in this present run sixteen years ago. He's divorced. He has two children (at least) and a granddaughter that he is never home to see. He'll be fifty-eight in June. Even though I hardly believe it of him, it's time to settle down. Maybe he'll find some lucky lady somewhere and try his hand at marriage again.

But just the same, it's hard for me to let go. Painful, even. This man is intertwined in the last sixteen years of my life more than you could ever believe…more than I could ever share with the public. If life is like a novel, then more than half of mine is written around him. Sixteen years is so long that I can't remember life before him. Sixteen years is so long that I have to move four or five years past this point in order to even begin untangling things and setting my life straight once again. That's what feels like death.

True, I kind of let go six years ago. My life is no longer written him with a lead actor, like it was when I was in junior high; or even a supporting actor, like he was in high school. He's barely a guest star now and it's like…it's like he's telling me (indirectly) that they're killing off his character and I still have to go on with the show. (I know I'm taking the analogy a little far, here, but…) I know shows have survived without their original lead–for better or for worse–and that CSI is a prime example. But I want to stop production, sit down and pull my hair out. Life will go on without him, but I have to let go.

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