Editorial – Thank You for the Music

?Friendship is like a violin; the music may stop now and then, but the strings will last forever.?

Author Unknown

Late July is usually moving month in our community. Often, we’re the ones heading from home and comfort on a new and exciting adventure to set up a new home in a strange city. This summer, though, we’re among those that remain behind, saying goodbye.

This week, I watched my daughter bid farewell to one of her best friends, and the parting was hard. Saying ?goodbye? has never been easy for me, either, despite its inevitability at this point in our lives. I look at the youthful tears, and I think ahead to next summer, when my own dear friend will leave the area. Ahead to a future year when we’ll uproot, saying our own goodbyes to friends remaining locally. Ahead still further to comings and goings, hails and farewells, and the many partings that seem to characterize the modern lifestyle.

At first, I’m sad. That’s natural and even proper: Gandalf had it right when he said, ?I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil.? So I have my little cry.

At the same time, I’ve come to understand that partings are a bittersweet mix of both sorrow and joy. We’ve heard over and over the truism that friends touch our lives, but it isn’t until It’s time to say goodbye that we really realize how much our friendships with different individuals have affected us.

The truth is, adults though we may be, we’re never truly finished growing. Just as kids change and grow as their childhood progresses, so too does our adult personhood develop over time?through interactions, experiences, and, well, life happening.

The friendships we form, no matter how brief, no matter how close, and no matter how they end, impact who we will someday become.

Even the disappointments, like the best friend who I thought would be there for life, but who lost touch as time passed: our happy times of several years ago remain ever green, even though the music of our friendship stopped playing over the years.

Or the ex who seemed to have potential but whose heart turned out otherwise; even though the memories aren’t pleasant, I have to acknowledge that those months with him did change the course of my life. If something negative can become positive when examined in the long, arcing trail of one person’s history, how much more significantly etched into our personalities are the good people whose companionship along the journey of life helped to make us who we are.

When the time comes to say goodbye, whether to friends leaving or those staying behind, I’ll cry and laugh. I’ll weep for the present parting. But I’ll laugh for the good times that have passed, for the moments shared, for the life lived. And especially, I’ll laugh for the future joy that will be mine each time I think upon these things.