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.


bigsip said...

Adios, Ryan!

I have always been fond of you and appreciated your good heart, gracious speech, and wit.

I'm glad you and Jamison are friends, for he is one of the best.

I'll rue the day The Braly's "escape". But, I'll be happy for them if that's their dream fulfilled.

Fare well, Ryan.

Jamison said...

Ryan, if you do read this, be sure to have some sort of bash/party before you guys leave...

I love use of the word "rue"

mullinz8 said...

I’ve never liked Ryan, mostly because Jules thought you were cute.

That’s not true at all; well I guess half of it is: Jules did think you were cute. Ryan, you’re an excellent friend and a faithful believer. Between those two standards very little else should matter between friends and acquaintances.

There is a little bit of comfort knowing that we’ll still have our technological wonder of communication to keep us in touch with minimal effort.

That being said, the thing that I empathize with the most is the painful physical absence of a good friend. I remember hearing how you guys felt when I left, then hearing about what it was like taking Sipper to the airport. Somewhere along the line Brew and Stubbs left our ancient and communal stomping ground. Sipper returned a few years later and then most recently our pal Chuck has moved his base of operations and dropped off the face of the earth. Knowing we’ve all shared the same bitter sweet dish doesn’t make this pending absence any easier to bear.

What I missed most when I left was the companionship of having you guys near by. I had Jules but relationships between boy and girl friends are different than just guys being together.

I remember Brew and Stubbs came to see me at TN Tech and year later and there was so much I wanted to do to catch up with them, we tried to run around and do a million things to relive the wild times together. What I really wanted (now with perspective kicking in) was to just sit back and not be forced to do anything other than be a part of my dear friends lives again. Those are moments of agony and ecstasy. We always talk about the things we did but it’s the times when we did nothing that, I’m convinced glued us together.

Ryan, I wish you the best with your new position and I know that you’ll keep in touch with Jamison but I want you to keep in touch with us through this blog as well.

Please don’t misplace us or what your contribution to the scattered, spasmodic, group means.

tnmommieof2 said...

Yes I did think Ryan was cute....
Ryan, actually, you still are(sorry
Matt)...but I wish you all the best in whatever you choose to do.

kellieja said...

Yeah, Ryan you are totally cute (Sorry Matt).

True story....My first week at FU you were one of two people I claimed I was going to marry.
Welcome to Florida.

Brewster said...

Good luck.

You leaving doesn't really effect me as I don't see you now. But I know those that are will miss you.

Take care and keep us up to date.

Ryan F. said...

I must admit I didn't realize this post was on here until I had a myspace message from Kellie telling me about it. I usually check it in the mornings at work, but my computer has been in the shop since last Wednesday afternoon.

I guess as cheesy as this sounds, I echo the quote of Patrick Swayze in Ghost when I say to Jamison - DITTO. I will miss the lunches, the story telling, talking to golden boy and golden girl, watching Tenn or Miami football. I will definately be on here as I will crave keeping in touch with all of you through this avenue. I probably won't get on here at work (just in case).

Maybe we can party on New Year's Eve or New Year's Day. We probably won't roll out until the 2nd or 3rd. I appreciate the kind words by all.

Jamison said...

Oh, me and Sipper already decided that I am going to plan a big cook out and invite myself to your house and invite other people before yall go... much like I did with the Wakefields the other week...

Or, we could do it at my house... would give us a reason to clean our house... Then again, if we did it at Ryans house, it would give us a chance to see the house when it is all clean and ready to sell... maybe ill invite a few house hunters that may take the house off your hands!

So, be ready for that... I love a good party/cookout. When I arrange things like that; i feel like I am playing the SIMS computer game. I put a few folks together, put food in front of them, and watch them interact.

Tammy said...

Jamison, just know that I rue the day that you invite people over to our house without very much of a heads up! Which I know you would never do!