Well, I hauled myself out of bed much too early this morning to say goodbye to Medicine Man. He was driving back to his home town of Omaha in time to make a wedding this afternoon. By this time next week he'll be in Africa on a medical mission trip. A few weeks later he'll start med school. He'll be here in Chicago, but he's moving to be closer to school. It won't be the same without him around here, that's for sure.
I think I've been in denial for the last few weeks about his departure. Sometime in June I had told myself to quit borrowing the car and bugging him to help out with Junior's math homework--give the guy a little transition time out--but no, it didn't really work out that way. Although he did seem to have a lot of fun with his Americorps buddies these last couple of weeks, so I don't think Marshfield Avenue's demands cramped his style too much.
Speaking of his Americorps buddies, they had an end-of-year dinner and award ceremony last night at UIC. Medicine Man didn't know it, but months ago his boss at work had put together a nomination for him for a national service award. I wrote a letter of support talking about all the great stuff he helped me do with the kids here on the block. We still don't know whether he won, but he did become a finalist, so the Americorps people gave him a certificate last night and his boss and I got up and said nice things about him.
He was really surprised. "I was just doing my thing," he said. It's nice to see somebody get recognized for just doing their thing.