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I watched several people say good bye recently.  There were many tears on several faces.  Strong, reluctantly shed manly tears.  Free-flowing feminine tears.

When someone you care about departs, especially for an unknown length of time, all of a sudden, you are faced with what this person means to you.  What they bring to the relationship.  What you will lose by virtue of their abscence.

How sad when someone is leaving and your insides are glad.  This feels like somewhat of a cosmic tragedy.  I reluctantly admit that this is sometimes the case on my end.  I breathe a sigh of relief that I no longer have to deal with so-and-so's isms.  

As we get older, it is progressively easier to care less about what others think – on some levels, this is probably a good thing – to not be controlled by other people's opinions.  But, it also can contribute to rudeness, self-entitilement, and general selfish thoughtlessness.  And that makes it pretty easy for others to be greatful when you are not around.  

My challenge to me: am I bringing value to my relationships?  When I am gone, which side of the scale will tip?

And how about you?