One thing you learn in retail is that change is the continuous. People come and go all the time. It is the nature of the type of business I work in.
One thing I really never thought would change is the person I share my desk space with. I thought for sure he and I would retire about the same time and I would never really have to say good bye. But now I must. My desk buddy, my friend and supporter is moving on to a new job.
I have been struggling all week with what to write to let you know what kind of guy he is, but words just don't do it justice. We have known each other for 15 years now, working them mostly together but there was a brief time that we worked at separate stores and yet, every time we saw each other, we picked up where we left off.
We have had some crazy adventures, who can forget the massage parlor in the church we were visiting. We have had tons of laughs, still not sure how he got to Hopkins on the way to Holland. We have shared tears, the loss of his son and other many family issues. But most of all we have shared a friendship that I couldn't explain to anyone. We really couldn't be any different.
He isn't real interested in fiction - but he listens to my excitement about a new book as if it is the most important thing to him. His passion is Academic - he knows about several topics that I can't even pronounce. He loves to talk about it, debate it, and agree to disagree with someone in a way no one else I have ever meet.
He treats every customer with the politeness, dignity and grace they all want, some don't deserve it, but he is willing to give it. No matter his mood, no matter what is going on in his life, he is willing to listen to you and either offer words of advice and encouragement or just that listening ear you need sometimes.
I shall miss him greatly. He has made me grow and stretch as never before and has encouraged me to do things I never thought I was capable of doing. For that I will always be grateful. I know he will be fantastic at his new job as he will enter it with all the enthusiasm that he does everything. I know that where he is going is the perfect place for him now, but a small and little piece of me wants to stomp my foot and tell him to stay as it will be too hard without him.
But I won't as that is not what you do to friends. You let them fly and cheer them on the way. So cheer him on I will, with a heavy heart, a very selfish heavy heart.
Louis McBride, you shall be missed. Fly my friend and be blessed in all you do. It has been an honor working with you these past years.
I am now closing this letter the way you close your emails. It is my wish for you.
P.S. I know you are itching edit this, thanks for restraining until now. :-)