Some of you will know that when I say Florida I’m speaking of a person more often than a place.

His internship started last January, so it’s over – now. I went to see him Saturday morning for the last time before he left. I had a great time hanging out with him and his now former room mates. Great morning, one to be remembered for sure.

When it was time for me to go I asked him to walk me downstairs, he came with me to the bus stop. As we walked down the road we threw some random memories back and forth. I guess we were trying to spend our last moments reminding each other how much our friendship meant.

When we got to the bus stop the bus was already rounding the corner so we wrapped up our memory sharing and as the bus pulled up I gave him a farewell hug.

Not a good bye hug. A farewell hug. You see the good bye hug is the hug you give to say ‘It was nice seeing you, I’ll see you later’. So of course you need a different hug to say a different thing.

That’s the farewell hug. It’s the same until the point that the goodbye hug would end. At that point instead of letting go and walking off you hold on a little tighter, for a little longer. As if to express without words all the feelings that are swelling up inside of you.

The feelings of wishing that they didn’t have to go. That they could just stay a little longer. That it didn’t have to be good bye.

So anyways super dramatic hug whatever, as the bus pulls up. Then the good bye and my friend Jonny walks off as the bus doors open.

As I walk onto the bus the driver says hello and gives me a sympathetic smile. I turn and continue towards the back, the whole bus watching me as tears stream slowly down my face.

I sit near the back crying softly until an amazingly sweet young woman hands me a couple of Pizza Pizza napkins to dry my tears.

Then I smiled. Jonathan Garrell is the kind of fellow that really makes you smile. So I thought about the day I met him and how much he’s changed since then. The day we sat at the corner of Jane and Finch and had a four hour conversation about things that seemed important at the time. The conversations about God – who will be most important for all time. I wondered if I’d ever set foot on the fourth floor again. I thought about the day I locked him out of my apartment and sent him ridiculous notes through the mail slot. And I laughed to myself about all the nights we’d wandered to Tim Horton’s only to realize that neither of us actually wanted anything… And how I’d be the one to buy a pop or hot chocolate to try to make it look less ridiculous.

He was – and will continue to be from afar – an amazing friend.

I’m a better person for having known him.

Love you Jonny.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take. -Proverbs 3:5-6




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