Flash flood of emotions
Today will go down for me as one of the most emotional days I’ve experienced. Not in a bad way. Just a wave of emotions which have overcome me, simply because I got to spend so much time surrounded by people who love me and truly care about me, and in turn, people I love and truly care about.
As soon as I found out today was LIsa’s last day at Buffalo WIld Wings, I knew it would be emotional for me. Before I started therapy with Crista, I doubt I could have handled it. If this had happened, say, last year at this time, or even in October or November, I may not have gone. I might have told Lisa that I was sorry I couldn’t come, but it just was best if I stayed away.
Now, I knew I would be able to handle it. I knew LIsa was moving on because she and Jeff each had exciting new opportunties and the chance to plant roots in Chicago, where LIsa would have the loving support of Jeff’s family.
Also, Lisa asked me to be her for her final day. Nobody I can recall who was leaving somewhere had ever asked me to show up for their final day. I was humbled.
I left Russell before sunrise, made the obligatory stop at Starbucks in Junction City, and got to Kansas City at 10, one hour before opening.
Before going to Buffalo Wild Wings, I had to make a special stop at Bed Bath and Beyond on the opposite side of Interstate 29 along Barry Road.
It has now been two years since I first met Liz. I knew she had been working at the Buffalo Wild Wings in Zona Rosa for a while when I started coming regularly in May 2013, but we did not get to talking until one day in June, when she liked a particular song I chose on the jukebox. The song: Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2”. It’s the great one where the band screams, “HEY, TEACHER, LEAVE US KIDS ALONE!”. I played the song almost every time I put money in the jukebox at Ivar’s, my favorite hangout in Baton Rouge. Now, whenever I hear the song, I think of Liz.
At Bed Bath and Beyond, I purachsed a beatuiful oak salt and pepper grinder set.
The pepper had very special meaning for our friendship.
It was late, late one night in October when Liz told me that I didn’t have to be anyone else, that she accepeted me for who I was, flaws and all. She told met that I was all the pepper I needed to enjoy life and make it worthwhile.
I had the idea to buy her a pepper grinder back in April. I kept it in the back of my mind before doing it today.
LIsa was behind the bar when I arrived a few minutes before 11. She was very happy to see me. Lisa is more reserved than Brittany or Liz, who will come up to me with a huge grin and throw their arms around me. But I know Lisa really cares about me and loves me just as much as Brittany, Liz and a lot of the others.
The day dragged on for the most part, but at 3:45 my trivia pals Robb and Dawn Amos came in. They wanted to see Lisa off as well.
We had a great time playing trivia for over two hours. Just before 6, Lisa said her goodbyes. I was able to get through it without tears. At least I’m going to see Lisa again at Brittany’s wedding reception in two weeks.
Brittany, Liz and many others I know are on shift tonight. I took a break from 8:30 to 10:30 to check in to my hotel and get some food and beverages for the stay. I’m now back at Buffalo Wild Wings watching the Royals wrap up an easy win over the Athletics in Oakland.
How in the heck did I end up with friends like these? Regardless, I am blessed. I wouldn’t trade them for anything. Not just Brittany, Lisa, Liz, Raymie and the others at Buffalo Wild Wings, but Peggy Cox and her daughters Caitlyn, Courtney and Chelsea; Sue and George Rossi and Janet and Kevin Jilka; Shareece Hileman and Anne Kingsbury; Larry Bernard; Sean Spoonts; my former boss, Jack Krier and Kathy; and last but not least, Crista Geyer, who with Dr. Patriarca at High Plains Mental Health, and Dr. Shanon Custer and Dr. Stacey Jones, keep me healthy, both mentally and physically.
I would give everything I own to see Stacie Dauterive Seube and a lot of my old classmates from Arabi Park Middle. The same goes for Tiffany Peperone. For Brenda LeBlanc. For the entire Borne clan. At least I have seen Bill Franques in the last few years.
I can’t dwell on the bad. I’ve got too much good.