Johns Creek loses today not because of anything that could have really been controlled, but simply because one family has chosen to return home. An inevitable time, but yet still one that we are sad to see arrive.
Stephen and Julie Lynch came to Johns Creek three years ago from Scotland. Stephen, an executive with NCR Corporation, elected to relocate to the United States for a three year program. The Lynch Family includes three boys as well, Daniel, Joseph and Aidan. The entire family embraced the opportunity to come to the United States and fortunately for this community they arrived here in Johns Creek due to the proximity of the NCR Corporate headquarters.
From the moment they arrived the entire Lynch Family jumped into our community. They were into all sports, clubs and activities, President of the PTA, Scouts Leaders and on and on, frankly as many as they possibly could have squeezed into their time here. They immediately immersed themselves into our culture; however that isn’t to say there wasn’t a twinge, early on, of homesickness. My wife, Jackie, met Julie during those early times while both volunteering at Wilson Creek Elementary. Sharing an understanding of the challenges of being in a new city they took to each other quickly. The four of us quickly formed a friendship, one of those unique friendships that you will always cherish.
The Lynch’s shared with us their Scottish heritage as Jackie and I did our best to introduce them to the United States, mainly our Southern heritage (sometimes as backwards as it may seem). We gained much more than we provided I am certain. Stephen and Julie shared with us a new perspective, a much broader world view, one far greater than we would have ever been able to gain simply from books or tourist travel.
Our friends are connectors of people and created a community while they were here in Johns Creek. They would routinely bring crowds together for parties. Many times they were bringing these crowds of people together for supremely American holidays and functions as though they had lived here forever. I believe that they amassed more friendships in their brief time here than most create in 20 years’ time. The Lynch’s brought together people from the various nationalities that reside in our city. We often joked about their parties resembling the United Nations; thus allowing people from all of these cultures to meet. They created community!
As a patriotic American I was dismayed to find out that almost any item that we enjoy in life was created by the Scottish. Who knew? I certainly did not. Stephen was able to share with me that common items such as the telephone, apple pie and even Dennis the Menace are all Scottish. Our three year banter was ultimately finalized when he presented me with a book to prove that all things are generally Scottish!
As I began, I stated that Johns Creek loses today. Our community is lessened by the fact that this is our friends last day here in the United States. Throughout our friendship we knew this day was coming but often joked about it, ignored it or secretly hoped that we could get these guys to stay. Home is calling them.
Our city is better off for their time here. Jackie and I will certainly miss our friends but are definitely better for having them in our lives. We are thankful that they are only a plane ride away. It will be fun for us to see their hometown of Dundee, Scotland of which we have heard so many great things.
On Wednesday Scotland is gaining back 5 treasures. Stephen, Julie, Daniel, Joseph and Aidan thanks for the impact on each of us and our community.
You all will be missed.