Recent events have brought home the transience of even the best and strongest human relationships. We go through life making friends and building some of those relationships. Every now and then magic happens and you find a 'best friend'. A guy(or girl) that you can talk about anything with, the person who you find yourself talking to at 2am in the parking lot outside of Denny's. The others left an hour ago, the meal was done 2 hours ago but if we talk for just 30 more minutes we might fix the problems of the family, Company, University or World. You are in sync on most opinions, social morays and probably political views and as the years go by the relationship deepens. You find ways to do things together, make a softball team, setup poker nights, play online MMORPG's. This are the people that pick you up when you are down. They are the people who KNOW you are down when no one else does. They are ecstatic with your victories and nearly as despondent with your defeats. Really they help make life worth living. The problem is, they dont always stay.
Over the years I have had a handful of buddies that I would call 'best friends'. The first was in high school, he was the New Mexico version of 'Hyde' from That '70's Show'. Even though I was a jock type and he didnt have much use for them we found common cause against the more obnoxious members of our athletic community. This relationship ends at graduation as he heads into the Navy and I move to Dallas. In College I met another guy who would be by new bestest buddy. The earnest late night conversations about how we could fix our school, change the way organized religion (mostly Baptist at that time) SHOULD be serving or just which girls were on our minds. We stayed close all the way through college, through a 5 year tour in the military but not through the uptown marriage. Along the way I picked up another one in college, one in the Army, one from a job and then another from my softball team. It is great to have the friends you can call up and kid, or complain to at the drop of a hat but it is very hard when those relationships end or change.
It is strange how they change as well. Like I stated earlier, one was mainly about changing social circles, another was about military transfer and there was even one that changed because of damage caused by other people. But somehow, the hardest one of all is the buddy that moves away. All the others seem to give you a at least some control or recourse, but when a friend decides to leave you just have to let go. I think the hardest part of letting go, is not letting go BEFORE they actually leave. There is an urge to start cutting ties as early as possible. There is some very real desire to 'stop the bleeding' as it were and just move on. This would be a mistake, this is the time that you get to show WHY you were such good friends. This is the time where you get to be the support for the friend that is probably feeling uneasy, maybe a bit scared and probably lonely. You have to realize I am preaching to myself at this point as I have a buddy leaving, moving far, far away and I dont like it. In fact, I like it so little that I almost cant hear the little voice that is saying, "support your buddy." This is why we are good friends, we are there for each other in the hard times because the great friends are usually the only ones around when the stuff hits the fan. So remember, you are not friends just for YOUR enjoyment and satisfaction or support (yes this means YOU Big Tea.)