Finding Comfort In ‘Goodbye’

 I wrote a couple months ago about my current effort to embrace — rather than instantly reject — change.

My success has varied. But there’s one change I don’t think I’ll ever fully be able to appreciate: saying “Goodbye.”

I know that isn’t some profound statement exclusive to me. Nobody really likes to see someone they care about — whether it be a falling out, a big move or, at worst, a death — leave, or to be the one leaving. But it’s something we all must deal with in varying degrees throughout our lives.

This weekend has been a reminder of what it’s like being on both ends of the spectrum for me.

Friday was the last day at the Daily Globe for photographer Jesse Trelstad and reporter Kristin Trelstad (or Kirtz, as you might have seen her name appear in the paper). They are leaving so that Jesse can continue his photojournalism career at the Grand Forks Herald. That same day, two old friends (along with a new friend whom I hadn’t met) arrived in town for a visit from Emporia, Kansas, where I worked before moving to Worthington.

Saturday night, a few of us from the Globe were able to have a get-together in order to hang out with Jesse and Kristin one more time before they headed north. My guests joined us and, for me, it was like bringing two families together.

In a little more than a year since Jesse joined the newsroom (Kristin came on a couple months later), I’ve had the pleasure of not only getting to work with them, but also get to know them. They’re both wonderful people, and I’m proud to call them my friends. While I’m excited for what the future has in store for them, selfishly, the news that they are leaving Worthington was a bitter pill to swallow.

When I first moved to Worthington, I admittedly had a little bit of a hard time adjusting. It was nothing against the town or anyone in it — certainly not my coworkers — but despite befriending people at work and feeling welcome, I didn’t get the “at-home” feeling for which I was hoping. Over time, that has changed. I know both Jesse and Kristin had a lot to do with that.

A favorite photo of mine taken by Daily Globe photographer Jesse Trelstad at a high school football game this fall.
A favorite photo of mine taken by Daily Globe photographer Jesse Trelstad at a high school football game this fall.

At the same time, having my friends from Kansas in town reminded me of a time not so long ago when I was in the same position they are. Not only was I leaving Emporia, a community to which I had no ties that almost immediately embraced me as one of its own, but I was moving a long way away from some of the most important people in my life — friends who had essentially become an extension of family. I’m not ashamed to admit that more than a few tears were shed during those last few days.

But having them here this particular weekend was especially meaningful. It served as a reminder that, though our proximity in geography has changed, our relationships haven’t. I still count them among my closest friends and communicate with them, whether it be by phone, text messaging, social media, etc., on a very regular basis.

While it still is sad to think that I won’t see Jesse and Kristin on an almost daily basis, knowing that they’re just a couple taps on my phone or keyboard away is very comforting. I don’t have a worry in my mind that they will continue to be a big part of my life just as my friends from Kansas have.

Last week, Jesse gave each of us in the newsroom a drawing that he’d made specifically for us. On the back of mine, he left a short note that ended with a quote. That said, I feel it’s appropriate to end this post with a quote for Jesse and Kristin.

“No distance of place or lapse of time can lessen the friendship of those who are thoroughly persuaded of each other’s worth.” — Robert Southey

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