Friday, November 03, 2006
Ah, Life... as Brew once said...
In our lives we establish friendships with a host of different kinds of people. Some people have 1 or 2 friends. Some people have none (If you can believe it!). Some, like us, have a close-knit group that stays solid as the years and disagreements come and go. Some of us have 2 or 3 different groups of friends that sometimes never cross paths. Friendships are a treasure. I think some of us here sometimes take our friendships for granted since we have been together for so long, but understand that there are MANY people in this woulrd who would give their left eye to have ONE person in their lives like we have the 10 or 12 represented here.
Though, naturally, when one has friends for so long, you tend to take friends for granted. I suppose recent circumstances and events have shed light on the fact that perhaps I have become a victim of the friend-advantage-taking… with a one Ryan F.
Of all my friends, Ryan is the friend I have known the longest and been friends with the longest. I don’t really know what made us friends other than randomly being selected as roommates my freshman year. Mullins was to be in his place, but somehow it got switched at the last minute. Ryan is a bit of a sports nut, I am a casual sports fan and know very little of players and rules and history of the game. There are many other aspects of life that Ryan and I don’t share. Yet somehow, we have remained friends consistently through all these many years.
Having Ryan in town has been a blessing. I tell Ryan things that I usually don’t tell others. I can talk to Ryan about subjects that I may not be comfortable talking to others about. I can tell Ryan “Don’t tell anyone else” and I know anything I tell him is safe with him.
You’d think a guy that I hold this dear to me would be a guy I would hang out with on an almost daily basis. Let’s face it; none of us are 16 anymore and we aren’t in college. We have jobs, families, and some of us have kids… so the “hang out factor” with any friend in your 30s is low. Yet, we at least try to have lunch once a week. On those lunches we either let it all out that we have been dying to tell the other, or we eat in silence. Or we tell a funny story about something that happened that week. No matter the subject of the lunch, the fact that we try to get together once a week has been a testament to our friendship.
I’ll admit, I could be a better friend. We could get together more. We could talk more. We could have lunch more often. But, such is life.
Ryan is moving away, at the latest, January of 2007. He has been offered a job at a church in Jacksonville, Florida. It is for a position he has desired for many years at a church where the elders are loving and down-to-earth. He will get paid more and essentially work less. The best part of the job offer is that they came to him, rather than him going out to find a job.
Ryan has been in this town a long time. I envy him in the fact that he is going to be able to move up in the world AND be able to do it by moving out of this town which seems to pull people in and hold them here with a death grip. Tis a fine town, but for those of us looking for a way of escape, the task seems impossible.
Sure, I will have a place to stay if I go to Jacksonville. Sure, we can go to a Jacksonville Jaguar’s game. And sure, I probably will see him only a little bit less when he moves than I do already. But, going to Peytons Place restaurant to get a meat n 3 will not be the same without some funny anecdotal story being told by Ryan… I don’t know HOW odd and strange things always happen to him, but they do, and he knows how to retell a story.