It was only a coffee cup.
On one of my infrequent forays into the outside world, I found myself, one night, having to make a terrible decision. Exiting our car, I placed the foot of my cane on the driveway and draped the straps of my laptop bag over the longer extension of the cane's handle. I slipped the handle of my empty coffee cup onto the index finger of my right hand, the one grasping the cane. This was an operation I had successfully hazarded hundreds of times, stretching back four years to when I could still walk easily and needed the cane mainly for balance. This night, however, the laptop bag began to slide off the cane handle as I was halfway to my feet. My left hand was engaged in bracing myself against the car door, so my only option was to allow the cup to slip from my finger as I reached frantically to catch the bag strap. The cup fell to the driveway and shattered. It was only a coffee cup.
I can't even remember the year that Bonnie bought that cup for me; it had to have been sometime in the early '70s. We were in some specialty housewares store, perhaps Lechter's, we saw a revolving rack filled with cups bearing various male and female names. We were pleasantly surprised to discover that both of our names were represented. We couldn't resist, and each of us bought the other a cup bearing our respective names.
That cup had been close to me since then; it had been my constant companion through so many glorious times, so many crises; it never, through all the years, occurred to me that someday it might not be there. Goodbye, old friend.
I have a multitude of stories of old friends lost; people, pets, and objects that held emotional resonance for me. Of such losses, much of life is composed. Goodbye, old friends.
When the Creator comes to me and informs me that there are new things to be created in some other place, I suspect that I shall look behind at the life I have led and say "Goodbye, old friend."