Yesterday was my last day with the youth group. We went out for pizza and played kickball, and they presented me with a shirt, a picture of the youth group and a piece of the original slate roof of the cathedral. Today I was given a shirt and dog tag from the Boys and Girls Club. All these little gifts and mementos show me how much I've meant to others, and that's kinda humbling.
But they're a reminder of the transitory nature of our relationships. Only a handful of people will remain very close to us (in distance and in friendship) throughout our lives; others will be part of it for just a little part of our journey and soon fade as time and distance come between. For me it's hard to handle. I love these people so much, yet my future is not to stay with them forever. I have to move on to a different place, and our friendship is not going to stay the same once we stop seeing each other all the time.
It's also something that we can't help but live with. If we were to remain in one place all our lives and remain with only a handful of people for the rest of our time, we'd miss out on meeting so many others.
While our friendships might be in flux and be just for a few brief moments, they're still friendships. Even if it seems to have grown cold, there can still be a fondness and many pleasant memories.
So, to friends old and new, far and near, I love you all.