I talked with my my good friend and fraternity brother, Mike Ratteree (Rat)today. He lives in the Atlanta area and it seems he is about to move across the country with his job. He will be setting up residence in the great state of California. That's a long way from here!!
Rat and I both graduated from that fine institute of learning in Statesboro, Georgia, which is Georgia Southern University in 1995. We became fraternity brothers when he joined Kappa Sigma in 1993. In those three years that we knew one another we developed a great friendship that we have carried on since the day we left school. To say that we went in two different directions is an understatement. When I left school, I set about starting a career and tried to get serious about life and what others expected of me. Mike went skiing! He spent some time out west as a mountain bike instructor and a ski instructor. He lived a care free lifestyle and refused to get serious about anything but enjoying God's great outdoors. He once told me that he would start his career when he was 30. I think he held to his promise. Mike and I would get to see each other at fraternity reunions or he would make the occasional visit to Statesboro for some duck hunting or to Fitzgerald for golf and fishing. We always promised to try and see each other more often, but work and family started to get in the way over the past few years. The last time I saw Mike was at Kappa Sigma's 40th reunion in November of 2008. We played golf and spent the weekend reliving old times. We promised once again to stay in touch and visit more often. All though we do stay in touch more,(thanks to Facebook) we never found time to make those visits, which brings me to a good point.Make time for the people in your life that you love!!
As I talked to Mike on the phone today and wished him luck, I couldn't help but think of some of my favorite Rat stories. I thought about all of the sports that we played in school, the girls we dated and took to formals together, the St. Patrick's day trip to Savannah, the Halloween party where we went as Cooter and Goober (two mechanics that ran MT's shop), and the golf tournaments that we played in. In my trip down memory lane I realized that good friends are hard to come by and that we should savor the moments that we have with them. There is a good chance that I may not see Mike again as he starts a new life on the West Coast, but I sure hope not. He is still my brother and my friend and I will definitely miss him!
AEKDB Rat and good luck brother!!