Julian and Jim moved to Maine last Wednesday. I thought of them during the closing for the sale of their house here in Atlanta on Tuesday. I thought of them during their 1200 mile drive with two cats that hate to travel. I thought of them arriving Friday in Maine to their home which is now paid for.
They have been customers for years. MaCallan on the rocks. 8:30 reservations. And while we never got together outside of the restaurant, I consider them friends.
I have had to say goodbye to many friends over the years. It doesn’t get any easier. There’s a little empty spot at the table where they usually sat, even when someone else is sitting there. There are the guys who moved to Portland Oregon to teach and because it’s a blue state, San Francisco to work for Apple, Texas for a promotion, Alabama for a tenured position at the university. There’s a slew of ladies that have retired to the mountains in North Carolina. I get to see them sometimes.
Of course there are customers who have passed away. I can still see them with a glass of wine on the back patio watching the rain, or sitting in front of the fireplace, or bent over their meal eating in earnest. I see them with their loved ones who still come in, even though it is painful.
I am a very lucky woman to have known such wonderful people. I hope those who can will come back and visit. They are missed. But they should know that their presence is still felt. They fill the restaurant with memories. It is some comfort.