It is difficult to say goodbye for the final time. The greater the time spent together, and the greater the shared experiences, the greater the sense of loss. It has been difficult. Last week I threw my backpack away. Thanks, I will be OK. I must press forward.
You see, this backpack had been my travel companion for almost a decade. It had cradled 4 different laptops in its protective sleeve. It had guarded the cameras that helped document my family's history. And it held snacks. Lots of snacks. And water bottles.
There was a spiffy little pocket in the front that made it convenient for boarding passes. I had an exciting "secret" pocket- just right for passports and cash, and even a special tiny opening just for my headphone cord. Yes, it had it all. It was the perfect backpack.
It was... until the straps started to fray. Now I'm not accusing it of being weak, it had weathered many storms - I get teary thinking of the time that we were bouncing around together, in the back of a small truck in Africa, and diesel fuel sloshed out and soaked it. I thought that was the end. But, with determination, soap, and hard work, it lived to see another day.
The straps were another story. Years of valiant service had taken their toll. As the straps would fray, I would cut them off. Over the years they grew shorter and shorter, and I knew the day would eventually come where I would have to put it down.
I think my backpack knew the time was near as I loaded my laptop inside, and took that last, fateful journey to Costco. You see, I had been told that there were laptop sleeves there for only $15. I took my laptop to try one on for size.
As we entered the warehouse, I switched shoulders, but the strain was just too much for the tired, frayed strap, and it broke. Right there in the middle of Costco. 10 feet away from the computer cases. My backpack had held on until I was able to find a replacement. Or what I thought was a replacement. It turns out that the sleeve may be fancy and modern, but it is a "one trick pony". It doesn't have the vast array of uses that my old friend had.
I have looked high and low for a worthy successor - to no avail. One day, I'm hoping to find one that can fill the void in my life, and on my shoulder. Until then, I'll rely on my memories, tainted with regret. It deserved better than the dumpster.
A the risk of being too personal, I would like to share a few special moments that we shared:
Exploring the rain-slicked cobblestone streets of Edinborough, Scotland.
Getting a taste of American history at Mount Vernon, home of George Washington.
Relaxing in a rustic cabin at the base of Mt. Hood, Oregon.
Enjoying a cowboy show with the family in Durango, Colorado.
One of our many visits to destitute African villages.
One experience that is burned into my memory needs to be saved for another post. But it will include the following: NYC, limo & projectile vomiting.
There are so many more...but there is no use living in the past. I think I understand the important lesson taught by "P.S I Love You." I will find another backpack...one day.