After my joyful few weeks of book touring and traveling, I came home to news that made me sad. No, not the news of our country the past week or two, although there is that. This was the announcement that Klay Thompson is no longer a Golden State Warrior. I couldn’t even talk about it for a few days, as if avoiding the conversation would make it untrue, but alas, it did not.

I love Klay. I love his skill and mindset and dedication. I love how he is quietly confident and silly and seemingly completely himself at all times. I definitely loved watching him go off on amazing shooting sprees and blowing our minds, and I also loved watching him get his Harry Potter wand at Universal and drive his boat around the Bay and play with his dog, Rocco.

Even more, though, I loved our team. I loved that group of guys…Steph and Draymond and Klay as the solid, unshakeable core of our team. I expected they would play out their careers together. They were all drafted by the Dubs, played their whole careers together up until now. I really thought that unit would see it through. I knew it would end, but my scripted story was that they went out together in a few more years. Nobody does that anymore, and I guess that includes us. We weren’t quite as special as I’d hoped.

I was part of a great neighborhood group when my kids were young, yet slowly we all moved away—some nearer and some farther—either way the village dispersed, and I was sad. When my kids left schools or teams, I was sad that the dynamics with those families changed as our lives became less intertwined. I want the groups I love to stay together, whether they are my inner circle or people I’ve never actually met, like the Warriors. Or Bon Jovi. My thoughts returned to the documentary I already blogged about, “Thank You, Goodnight,” and how sad I still find it that Richie left the band, that Jon’s voice isn’t what it once was.

Part of it is expectations, I suppose, getting mad that the world doesn’t turn out the way I wanted or the way I thought it would. It’s easy for me to feel anger about endings like these, but the anger is a shield, protecting me from the sadness of knowing I’ve lost something great and special, missing the joy that it brought. The anger does not serve me, though, so I will try and let it go.

I’ve always rebelled against the idea that “nothing gold can stay.” I know it’s true, but I hate it, so I keep looking for a hack to get around it. I suppose it is just one more area for me to practice acceptance and surrender.

Eventually I felt strong enough to read Klay’s post about leaving. He said, “don’t be sad it’s over, be happy it happened.” So I’ve been thinking about that too, and I decided I’m going to allow myself to be sad it’s over AND happy it happened. Both things are true and exist together in this bittersweet moment, which brings me to Robert Frost’s poem, perhaps the epitome of bittersweetness:

Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
I wish you the best, Klay. But I also wish you’d stayed.