Farewell, Beth.

Today was a difficult one for me.  One of my favorite people on the planet retired and is relocating north and double dipping with a new department.  I can honestly say I had no idea how hard it was going to be for me.  Now, I realize how narcissistic that sounds, but I promise that’s not where I’m going.

After spending most of the day trying not to tear up and subsequently monumentally failing as we said our goodbyes after hoisting a couple pints at the local watering hole, I decided to say farewell in the best way I know how.  Writing.  So, while the majority of you won’t have a blessed clue what in the blue hell I’m referencing through most of this, rest assured you are not the target audience; however, if you’ve ever said “so long” to a good friend, you may relate.

So, here goes…

I first met Beth (not his real name and there’s a pretty funny story associated with it that I shan’t share here) well over 10 years ago.  I was working a different assignment and he was working light duty in the same assignment.  He announced that he was traveling to New Zealand and even though we’d known each other about a minute and a half, he asked me if there was anything I wanted from New Zealand.  Since I didn’t know the New Zealand word for Wahine, I went with wombat.

Yeah, smart guy.  Bring me a freakin’ wombat.

You better recognize who this is, Beth. Seen any pic-a-nic baskets around?

And wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly what that son of a bitch did.  Sure, it was in a can, but I didn’t exactly specify.  Point: Beth. I knew from that day forward he and I would get on just fine.

I have a million Beth stories, but I’m not going to share them with you.  Because they’re mine.  And his.  Some I was witness to.  Some I just heard about.  But they are all awesome.

I had absolutely no idea how much I have come to rely on Beth on a day-to-day basis.  He was quite literally the one that kept me sane when I wanted to unabashedly lose my shit.  He was the voice of reason (which it frightens me to put in print) in a world gone mad.  When everyone else told the emperor he looked lovely, he would say, “Um…I can see your balls.  Sir.”  And I love him for that.

He was never disrespectful, but often questioned the status quo and, undeservedly in my opinion, got a bit of a bad rap for it.  He was one of the people I worked with that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I could depend on without question.  He’s a great sounding board.  He’s a phenomenal beat partner.  He’s one of the most knowledgeable and wisest men I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.

When I say “wise” I mean because he’s old.  We have to say that about the elderly, right?  Just checking.

It wasn’t until I hugged him tonight, said “Be safe” and “I love you” and he echoed it back that it hit me.  When Monday comes, Beth won’t be in lineup.

It was a long ride home.

On the flip side, I know his new move is a great one for him and his family.  His new opportunities are going to be incredible and I know with every fiber of my being that he will succeed in his new endeavors.  I also know that I will stay in close contact with him and I look forward to visiting him in his new digs.

So, Beth, I want you to know how much I have appreciated the time we were blessed enough to work together.  I am a better man for calling you friend and I’m a better cop because I worked with you.  God bless you, sir, and may He keep you safe when those goats attack.

I can only pray that someday I am fortunate enough to be someone else’s Beth.

Love you, brother.  Be safe.  We’ll see you soon.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic. Snark is encouraged. Being a prat is not.

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5 thoughts on “Farewell, Beth.

  1. If i may…
    You, Gentlemen, are two fine Officers.
    I am happily envy of you, developing such a friendship. Very few of us have experienced this beauty and miracle of Life so fully…
    You are like brothers, true close brothers…

    Now quit ur winin’ and get back to real life. Both of you are alive and well. Beth is not moving to Siberia (and even if, so?)
    You know bout Skype, i hope? Or “Seminars”, conveniently set for these very reasons (bwa-ha-ha, fools who set these up think seminars are for learning! Start planing, quit whining.

    Go get a couple of boxes of kleenex. Maybe more. Cry all you both need. Save the rest kleenexes for later. I am tearing up mysefl. I had quite a few departures of my people. Only some of them did not get to say goodbuy. I stil hope they knew i was running to them to say it.. But it’s not about me.

    It’s about you and your fiendship is at it’s prime!! Take care of it, trade stories about new/old depts,
    neverending supply of citizens stories, those are da best, 😀 (those saved kleenexes might come in handy ; )

    It will be tough, but any new stage is tough. It will ( probaby is) empty…. back to the kleenex… Pass me one, ok?

    BUT IT IS NOT THE END!!!!! Enjoy your NEXT chapter, you are lucky/blessed/happy people…

  2. In my family we have a saying, “A man is judged by the friends he keeps” and it sounds to me that you both will be well judged.
    As far as the extra distance between your address and his, what’s that but a bit of mileage and what’s mileage to a social media hound like yourself.
    All the best and sucess to you both.

    P.S. A wombat from New Zealand? You like to ask for the impossible or should we now change that to the improbable.

  3. A good tribute to someone who may have been, for want of a better term, your mentor. The Obi-wan Kenobi to your Luke Skywalker.