An old friend visited me at work the other day. Linda is a former employee of mine, among my favourite employees of all time. She is a very sweet lady, and why she liked me as much as she did was always a mystery to me. We have virtually nothing in common and used to enjoy very passionate conversations about our differences in opinion. She's highly conservative, right-wing Republican, Christian ... mostly all the things I am not.
Linda was like an older sister to me, with a very clearly developed sense of the important things in life. She didn't put any importance on age, or social standing, or sexual orientation, or religion. She was one of the few women in the office who didn't look down upon me because I was such a young supervisor, or because I dropped out of high school. She loved her friends just as they were, and graciously avoided the people she didn't care for. She could always be counted on to do her work well and be a role-model for others in the office; she could always be counted on to do whatever I needed her to do. She could always be counted on to smile at me and give me an encouraging word when I needed it, no matter what she was feeling personally.
Linda got married and moved away a couple years ago, out of Portland. I've missed her ever since, often using her as a secret barometer of a "good" employee. We've stayed in touch, but I'm not very good about communicating with friends long distance. We exchange a dozen or so letters a year, but I really miss talking with her. I miss seeing her every day, and having her influence in the office. I really enjoyed visiting with her, and was so pleased she stopped by when she was in town.
So if you're reading this it's likely because you know me in some capacity and we are friends. If I suck at keeping in touch with you, please know that I don't mean to. If I don't pay as much attention to you as I should, I'm sorry. I'm not the best friend a person could have, but I do love you all very much.