Generally speaking, I enjoy writing these columns because within their parameters I get to be a little foolish, critical or sometimes radical in thought and deed.
Once in awhile though, the exercise becomes painful and I'm finding myself in one of those situations this week.
You see, most folks only have opportunity and room in their lives to envelope three or four good friends. When you lose one, you lose a bit of your own persona, I believe.
We choose our friends and sometimes the friendship fades, sometimes it simply disappears for a variety of reasons. But while we have them, we are advised to cultivate them and embrace them because friendships make us stronger and can make us better people.
We don't get to pick our families, but we get to pick our friends and that requires special skills. You get to embrace them and dismiss them when need be and then embrace them again because good friendships have an ebb and flow to them that is timeless.
Last week I, and a lot of others, said goodbye to a friend, Barrie McKinnon and if there ever was an ebb and flow guy, he was it. And you didn't get to dismiss the Mac, because he was usually right in front of you. You were either arguing with him, or laughing with him and most often, doing both of those things in the span of one simple conversation. Only unique personalities get to do that.
Over the several decades I got to know Mac, I didn't always know why this friendship lasted, but the fact it did and it was a strong friendship, provided me with comfort on a few levels. I was comforted in the fact that a decision made over 40 years ago to count this character as a friend was a good one. There was never a need to dismiss it or even doubt it.
I couldn't dismiss it because Mac nailed down the fun parts of life. Maybe he didn't always know where he was going or what he was going to be doing, but damned if he wasn't going to have some fun getting there. Here was a guy who had a philosophy of life, and didn't even know it because he was too busy living it. I guess that's what made him such a compelling personality.
So for sure, I said goodbye to a friendship that certainly had its ebbs and flows but also had a strength in the fact that neither one of us ever doubted it. We never had to prove our friendship to each other we just lived within it.
So sometimes the lifestyle changes, family situations, geographic challenges or work and other interests affected the texture of the friendship, it never challenged the strength of the friendship that we accepted so easily.
Mac was a good friend and although he's gone on that extended road trip now, I'll never dismiss him, he's stuck in the memory bank until such time as it's my turn to pack up the gear and head out too.
Don't ever underestimate the power of a good friendship and make sure you recognize them when they're in front of you.
We'll miss the Mac on so many levels, but we are assured that our memory banks will be filled, thanks to him.
Have a safe journey pal catch up with ya later.