The Best Endings Are Bittersweet

My kids loved camp.

L-o-v-e loved it.

They started out as campers

and ended as counselors and program directors

nearly a decade later.

Somewhere around sophomore year in college

Tessa decided

it was time to break up with camp.

Ben got there a few years later.

Bittersweet for both,

but time.

The same is true for any relationship –

friends, school, homes, jobs, lovers.

The time to leave is when it’s bittersweet.

If you stay beyond bittersweet,

you’ve stayed too long.

I still have fond memories of all

but one job

I’ve ever had.

The one that lodges dark in my mind

with only bitter anger and disappointment

is because I stayed well beyond

when good sense

and integrity should have told me to leave.

And that was just after a year.

I had my reasons,

(money)

but even that should have had

me make a move sooner.

Similarly, I’ve stayed friends

with most of the men I’ve dated

mainly because one of us

had the presence of mind

to leave

while we could still see –

if we squeezed our eyes tight–

the person we fell in love with

on the other side of the table.

Bitter, but oh so sweet.

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