Lessons From Leaving.

I have a friend. Well, I have a few friends but today I am referring to my friend Tim. Tim had a birthday back on May 12th. I remember thinking on that date that I had forgotten something but moved on to other things and then two days ago it hit me: “Holy crap! I missed Tim’s birthday without calling or sending a card!” I have not missed his birthday since I met him a week before his 39th and this year he turned 48. So, after it hit me (while I was driving home from work) I called him and got his voicemail. My message was basically “I suck as a friend, please forgive me for forgetting your birthday, we have been out of touch lately, lets do lunch soon” He called me at home later that night and sprung some news that prooved that we had been out of touch. He is leaving, in (at that time) 36 hours. He has gone through some major changes in his life (that I was there for and/or knew of) and he is still recovering from them and decided that he needed a change of venue and he was going to give Austin, Texas a shot. He has family there that is going to help him and everyone is cheering him on. So we chatted a bit and I told him that I would like to see him before he left, to say good-bye, see him off. We were/are very close friends. He matters to me. So, after checking with my husband to confirm my plans, yesterday I went to see my friend after work. We spent an hour and half recapping the good, the bad, and the ugly that we had been through with each other and shared things that have changed in each others life since we had last seen each other. Ultimately, I knew going in what I wanted him to take with him to Austin: That I was grateful for his friendship and advice during a very difficult time in my life; then I apologized that I put him into that while he was dealing with his own difficult time; told him that I loved him as my friend; that I am glad that he is my friend; that I have nothing but respect for him and that I was proud of him for the decision he has made to move forward. I told him that I would miss him, though we had been out of touch recently, I always knew he was there and that he better make a point of utilizing email and cellular free long distance to keep me up to speed on the progress he is making (because believe me, this man will make progress) so that I can celebrate with him, or just cheer him on if he needs a cheering section.

Today, I find myself wondering: Do my friends know how much they matter to me? Do they know that I appreciate their presence in my life? That I love them?

I am so easily “out of touch” with my friends. I am not a big fan of the phone I use it for work all day long and I get tired of having an inanimate object stuck to the side of my head. I am too Crazy Busy to schedule “face-time” with them these days . What a big mistake.

I realized that soon, I need to make a point of treating each of my friends as if they were moving across the country in 36 hours.

Thanks Tim, for the friendship and the lesson. I will miss you. Have a safe trip. Did you pack your trusty old Dictionary? (inside joke)

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