The other day, my friend moved away.
We never used this phrase, but I guess she was my best friend. She was the type of friend who “got” me. The type of friend I could count on when I needed it the most. She was one of the first to know when I got a positive pregnancy test and she was there when three of my kids were born. Sometimes, we laughed until we cried. Sometimes, we cried until we laughed. We could spend hours sipping coffee and talking and lose track of time. We could shop ourselves silly. She and her husband are listed as guardians for my kids on my will. She was that type of friend.
But she’s gone now, more than halfway across this vast country of ours, and I just keep thinking I’ll never find someone else like her. Who else understands my introverted side, my anxious side, my quiet side, my phone call-hating side, my i-drink-coffee-but-not-for-the-caffeine side like she does? Who else gets me like that?
And I just keep thinking, this is life, isn’t it? Full of pain, and loss, and grief. Full of good-byes. Life is fluid. Nothing stays the same forever. This is part of the human experience. This is what it is to be alive.
And I just keep thinking, my God, I’m so thankful. Thankful to be alive. Thankful to have a friend who makes it hard to say good-bye. Thankful for the highs and lows of life because they make me feel everything a little bit stronger, a little bit better. They’re like salt. They bring out the flavor.
And I just keep thinking, was it worth it? Would I do it again, would I put the effort into this friendship, knowing it might end with me helping to pack their life into a moving truck just before it drives away from here? From me?
And yes, it was.
And yes, I would.
I’d live these years, and this loss, all over again for another friend like her.