Those Who Are Friends


Twenty-three days and I will officially be retired. Friends say “you’re too young”, but I’m hanging it up while healthy with a lot of years left to enjoy being the full owner of each day.

The company I am leaving has provided me with meaningful employment for close to a decade. There have been lots of good times and some not so wonderful ones, but the overall experience will always be positively remembered; cherished actually. Not sure I will miss the work a great deal, but I will miss some of the people a lot.

The last two days were spent in Milwaukee doing some consulting work for one of the company properties and visiting my counterpart here. We became friends quickly eight years ago. Our count tonight was we have hung out together at 32 company meetings. Knowing each other well as we do I am confident contact will be maintained, but I will miss seeing him every three months.

As many American men, we have talked in the past about being good friends but never expressed emotions much deeper, but we long known our bond was that of “brothers”. Tonight after a wonderful dinner and great conversation, Bill took me back to my hotel. As he was pulling in he said.” Now here is how this is going to work. When we stop I’m going to get out of the car shake hands with you, hug you and tell you I love you. Nothing else. Okay?” And we did just that. We were two late-middle-aged men noticeably holding back tears, not saying goodbye, but uncertain when we’d see each other again. I waved as he pulled away. He waved back and was gone.

I love you Bill. You are a talented professional, a dear man and a perfect gentleman. I will miss you and am so very grateful that a thoughtful, caring and gentle soul as you came into my life. I’ll see you again before too long.

Don’t be dismayed at goodbyes.
A farewell is necessary
before you can meet again.
And meeting again,
after moments or lifetime,
is certain for those who are friends.
Richard Bach