Monday, April 19, 2010

When your friend leaves

I got a call a few weeks ago from my friend Carol.  She told me she's moving to St. Louis since her husband's been transferred there.  It's taken me this long to feel like writing about it, but I knew I would.  Even with my willy-nilly attitude toward this blog, I knew I'd have to write this down.

Carol and I have been friends for our lives.  Our mothers were friends before we were born.  At four months old she was toted to the hospital to see me when I was born.  We went to the same church, the same schools until college, and have always, always, always, lived in the same state.  Other than my family, Carol has been the person who has known every stage and aspect of my life and has been there for me without fail.

And now she's leaving the state.  I don't even know what to do with that right now.  My whole life she's been in my backyard and now everything will change.  I don't even know what to expect.  I know we'll talk on the phone all the time and email and Facebook and all that.

But that's not like seeing her whenever I want.  It's not like having her stand by me when I got married, or at my bed when I was in labor with my first baby.  I could name a hundred other events in my life and hers that phones and email and Facebook can't touch.  And not all major things, either.  Just...things.

I know she has some anxiety about leaving, but wouldn't anyone moving to a new state?  Yet she and her husband of 24 years are happy about the idea and ready to take on the challenge of starting everything new.  People do it all the time, she says.

But for me?  Self-centered me?  I feel like a big chunk of my childhood is just...leaving. I already feel a little lost.  Is that terrible to say when I have a husband and a lot of family in the area who will do anything to support me at any time?  Maybe.  Certainly, it's not that I will be alone without's just that I won't be with her.

She's leaving in just a few weeks.  I don't know what to say to her when I tell her goodbye.  She's not too mushy-gushy and she's going to be wrought with all her other goodbyes so I will try to keep the emotions to a minimum for her sake.  But right now I'm bawling as I write this so I'm not sure saying goodbye to her in person is even a good idea.  And luckily she's not a blog reader so she may not even read this.  I don't really know...

I do know it's not about me...I know I have to grow up and realize people don't always stay where I want them to just because that's how I want it.  And I know it'll happen one day that I can think about her living so far away and not be sad.

But it's not today.  I assure's not today.

christine sig


Chilihead said...

Oh, Christine, I'm sorry. When Kathy moved the first time I was a mess. When she moved the second time, I realized we could still be close. We talk (usually for hours) every day and I visit her at least every 6 weeks. (Why do I go down there? Uh, IKEA, thankyouverymuch.) I know you and Carol will find a balance. It won't be the same, but you may become even closer because of the difference.

Christine said...

Ah thanks...that's encouraging.

Mrs. Howell said...

My BFF lives in Springfield and it IS hard. . .but it is also quite possible to remain just as close. In fact, I see her sometimes more than I see some friends that live right here in Tulsa.
Hang in there!!!

Anonymous said...

"People do it all the time," that sounds like her mother, all matter-of-a-fact and calm. Oh wow! Can't believe she is moving. I label that situational depression. It'll pass. And just think, a chance to go to the Arch again. rw