There’s something they never tell you about when you become a parent. And even if they did, you can’t understand it’s full affect until you experience it. It’s the time when your child leaves the nest.

Whether it comes because they are off to college or off to work a job in another state, it comes at some point. And there is a void that permeates your soul. An emptiness that can’t be described in words. It’s probably the most powerful emotion I’ve ever felt.

There is a version of this that happens on the Sunday of GFW for me. Again, it’s not the same thing as leaving a child in front of their dorm as you drive off watching her figure get smaller and smaller in the rear view mirror. But it’s a version.

There is a quiet sense of purpose we all take on in the morning hours of the final day of GFW. Each guy is packing their bag, breaking down rods, and taking up one of the many closing down duties of the house rental agreement. There isn’t a whole lot of deep discussion about anything, as most of those have been covered at some point, either on the side of the river, during a hike to get to water, or in the morning hours over coffee on one of the previous days. There just seems to be this focused quiet energy of getting the chores done so we don’t lose our deposit.

However, there is an eerie sadness that hangs over us.

I’m not sure it is sadness, but it’s something. It’s the understanding that another phenomenal weekend with your best friends is coming to an end. The time together sharing laughter and our lives with each other is coming to a close. It sucks because there is a part of each of us that wishes this could be something we do more often than one time a year.

I’m always trying to find a place where we can stop and fish on the way home to try and extend our time together, even if it is just for a couple extra hours. And the guys usually oblige my request. I don’t want it to end.

But I know it will. And if it didn’t, it probably wouldn’t be as special as it is.

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