Farewell, My Viking
Things are moving with time. There has been a lot of turmoil and and adversity in the last two years. Hopefully things will end up where they belong. Today, I bid farewell to one of the best friend I have ever had. It’s time for Carrie to return home. There are a lot of folks there who need her, and she needs them. Sure, things haven’t been the easiest, but I want to take a moment to remember the best things.
That was us in 2010. Things were pretty damn exciting that year. I ran off to Europe for ten days and came back excited about everything. She and I spent a lot of time creeping around the countryside swimming, exploring, and staying up far too late. There was a night at the end of July that changed our lives. We were out with Paul, cruising one of our favorite dirt roads for home as the month was about to change to August. Before any of us knew what we were up against, Paul had excitedly spotted something in the sky that was really unexplainable to us. All three of us were frantic as these silly lights in the sky made us question our varying levels of skepticism. Carrie and I spent the rest of the summer foraging for an explanation or a re-occurrence. We lost a lot of sleep and expected Men in Black around every corner as our X-Files of an adventure turned into a modern ghost story.
We shot through three school years together. Whenever it became overwhelming we did our best to be there and get the other through the college experience. I’ve always been cooped up in the attic of my mind, striving for creativity, and she put up with it. There was never an issue when I came home suddenly struck with a new found Buffy obsession, or when I decided I was going to launch a web comic. She always supported me.
2011 came blazing over the horizon and we kept up our exploring. We made it to Minnesota where we became the fall for a surprise birthday party for my grandmother and got to see the fabled Kensington Runestone. There were all sorts of new friends coming through Augustana, and we started sharing our adventures. I went through my last year working for the parks and managed to keep it with me until October. I’m sure she could agree, we had one of the best Halloweens and Thanksgivings of our lives that year.
2012 posed to be a completely different kind of experience that we probably didn’t see coming. Even our closest friends were going through things they could have never predicted. The heat of that summer was beyond reason. The outdoors were practically unbearable. It could have been the temperature that seemed to drive everyone into some sort of madness. Regardless, though, we managed to get out and make it great. I learned how to grill a chicken and we even gave our friends a cookout they’d never forget. As the summer ended packed up our tiny apartment, and two wonderful cats, and moved into a bigger place with my old friend Brett.
I had to learn what it meant to be a grown up. Yuck. She was there, though. What we were never ready for, was all the beatings the world was ready to dish out. By this summer we had seen so many things and had gone through so much it was practically incomprehensible. Carrie made it through college, and the turn of events that arose back home put her on the path to reunite with where she was headed: home. I will remain.
It is going to tough, and different, for both of us. I know that in the back of my mind we will both be relieved that some of the challenges we have been facing will be ending or changing, but we will always miss each other. We will hold onto to the great things that we were lucky enough to share together and we’ll always be friends. I owe her a thanks for standing by me through everything. Through the comic, school, Buffy, the Hellmouth, and everything. Thanks, Carrie. In the immortal words of Artie, the strongest man in the world, “Farewell, my little viking.” Keep strong and safe travels.