Today was a sad day at work. A close friend of mine decided that rather than staying with us through the merger that we are going to go through, she would join some other mutual friends at another firm. It was absolutely the right decision for her personally and professionally and, in fact, I was among the people that told her that. I'm proud of her for the decision that she made and very happy for her. But, that doesn't make it any easier.
I have been blessed to work with a lot of people that have become very close friends. While a number of them are still here, some have left over the years. They leave for various reasons - to pursue other interests, to move to another area, or just to change jobs. But friends, in the workplace, like in life, are very important.
"If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!" Ecclesiastes 4:10
There are lots of times in life when we move on or when friends move on - moving as kids, going to college, getting married, a job change. But, that doesn't have to mean the end of a friendship. In the last several years I have had the pleasure of rediscovering a friend from high school that I had not spoken with in many years. It is just a change. The different paths that you take give you different perspectives to share and different experiences to learn from.
There are some very powerful quotes out there from a lot of people about friendship. I don't want to go there, though. Instead, I want to share some wisdom from my grandfather. He used to always tell me "Never say goodbye, say so long, because goodbye is forever." So, since my friend and I largely avoided parting words and, at least from my side, attempted to pretend that it was not happening, I just want to say "so long." If you ever fall and need help getting up, you know who to call. The really good thing is that I do too.
To everyone and anyone reading - think about your true friends. Make it a point to be there for them.