The latest Knox trip was certainly not the last, I am sure, but with Mark's graduation yesterday came the end of the bi/tri-weekly visits. After a year of such visits, I was hating many things about Knox including but not limited to: some of the people, those damn uncomfortable beds, the lack of good food unless you're willing to go out, being dirty all the time (I swear--something about Knox, or Galesburg, makes me feel greasy and disgusting all the time), lack of privacy, lack of time, etc., etc.
I suppose for good measure I should include a list of the things I love about Knox: the rest of the people, the camaraderie, the Landmark, the campus (well, in spring or fall), the nostalgia, etc., etc. There.
Anyway, the Class of 2005 is history and in a way, our class is graduating again. Many of us stayed close by for various reasons this year, but now we are truly spreading out. Margaret will be in Philly, Sean back in Iraq until the end of the year, the post-bacs to various places. Chris found a good teaching job near Galesburg, so he will stay. I think Mark and I will be going back to visit him occasionally. I discussed with various people over the weekend how last year's graduation and this year's have been difficult for different reasons. Last year I didn't feel it was the end of my time at Knox; I knew I would be back regularly. But now, I do. For Mark, it was harder. It's that as well as the end of the routine he's come to know now for four years. To compound it, his parents are soon moving to Ann Arbor, meaning he will be completely without an anchor, which I cannot imagine.
It was a firmer good-bye, a permanent good-bye, to many people. Matthew walked past me while I was standing talking to Mark's family right after the ceremony, and somehow I knew I will never see him again. It's been as good as for so long that it's hard to imagine it any other way, but I still feel...bad. Guilty? A little, although I do not know how I could have done things differently. I entertained the idea of trying to end things on a better note with him; "I wish things had not turned out as they did. I wish you good luck." But perhaps best to let it lie.
I'm just glad to be home, with a kitchen full of good food to eat, and a comfortable bed to look forward to tonight.