Saying goodbye to a longtime friend

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   Today is a bittersweet day. I am saying goodbye to a friend that I have had for over 16 years.
   I can’t say exactly when it was I met this friend. I know he was there with me many long nights while I was in high school, typing up science or social studies reports.
   He stayed with me at my home in Mt. Lookout, WV following graduation from high school for a couple years, until circumstances compelled me to move to South Carolina. There was never a question; he was coming with me.
   Not long after arriving in SC, I met my eventual wife. She didn’t care much for my friend, but when we got married, she didn’t mind him moving in with us. She knew he would make himself valuable.
   And he has through the 12+ years we have been married. He traveled with us to each of the five places we have lived, never once raising a fuss or asking for anything.
   Always supportive.
   He supported me through all of those times. Through thick and thin. Always supportive. Always kept me straight.
   Recently however, his support has started to wane. His body is showing its age. Saggy, dingy, rickety like my knees when I get up in the middle of the night.
   I can sympathize. I feel his pain. I’m getting older as well.
   A few months ago, I started my own business, and I ended up spending more time than ever with my friend. It was like becoming reacquainted all over again.
   While he remained much the same, I realized I had outgrown him. It was time to move on.
   So, today I found a more than fitting replacement. He shows great promise of being even more supportive. I already have the feeling he will be around me much longer than the 16+ years I’ve known my old friend.
   What will happen to my old friend? I don’t know just yet. Perhaps I will find another purpose for him elsewhere or find a new home for him. The last resort will be discarding him.
   That would be a sad end to a friend I’ve known for nearly half of my life. But if it must be, it must be.
   I introduced them to each other this afternoon. Their meeting was quiet. Neither had anything to say to the other.
   I took a picture of the occasion. My old friend is on the left, the new one to the right.

From left to right: Old desk chair, new desk chair

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