In 1999, I started playing D&D with some guys that I met at school.
Over 7 years later, some of us still play together.
Sure, the group of players has changed. One of the guys has dropped in and out of the group as schooling allows. Some drop by for one week stints whenever they're in town.
I miss those folks that I don't get to play with regularly anymore. But there are four of us that have been there almost every week for seven years running. That's pretty amazing.
For the past few months, we've been playing Shadowrun on Thursday nights. We've got a few additions to the table for this game, including some of the friends I met playing WoW, but that core group was still together.
Until last night. One of the players informed me after the game was over that he needed to spend more time with his family. Obviously it's a decision I respect and understand completely.
We've all seen a lot of changes in seven years: new jobs, kids for some, engagements for others. We've been through a lot of strange and wacky times together. I lived with this fellow in particular for 3 non-sequential years, in 3 different places.
But throughout all those moves, all those triumphs, and yes, sometimes arguments... I could always count on seeing him every week, like clockwork.
Already we don't see enough of each other anymore. Our lives have taken us in different places... good places, mind you, but different. There will be opportunities to hang out, even if they are reducing in frequency.
But it still feels strange, and a little sad, knowing that next week, such a constant in my life is going to be missing.
So here's to the paladin that took up the sword of prophecy, only to destroy it to save a nation.
Here's to the rat bastard thief in his snake skin hat.
Here's to the feared and misunderstood warlock who surprised everyone by sacrificing himself to save a girl he barely knew.
Here's to all the characters that you made me and everybody else you played with love.
Here's to one of my best friends.
Here's to you, Gary. There will always be a chair and some dice for you at the table.