I have had some amazing friends throughout the years. Each of them holds something special in my heart. No matter what situation I am in, I know they have my back. One of those friends just up and eloped recently. How dare her! (I kid, I kid.) With that elopement came a move; a BIG move across country, exchanging the West Coast for the East Coast. This is where my sadness sets in. We may not have seen each other on a daily basis and often went for months without seeing each other, but now it could be years.
My friend Wendy and I met through our kids when Emma joined the daycare her son was attending. At 15 and 21 months they became instant friends, bonding over their gorgeous blue eyes, and adorable pudgy cheeks. Their friendship blossomed throughout the years, which led more to acting like siblings. When Wendy threw in another son a couple years later, I was elated. Both of these boys had my heart from the beginning. At times, I felt like they were my own sons. Watching them grow into the little men they are now was a pleasure.
When I had my breast cancer journey, Wendy often asked if there was anything she could do. She would have been willing to pick Emma up from school, ask Emma over to play with the boys, or drive me to the store. That’s what friends are for, to help assist whenever the need arises. Most importantly, with my many hours of down time, she introduced me to Nicholas Sparks. I read almost every book during my treatments. These books often tugged at my heart strings, making me cry every time. Those were some good books! Without Wendy pushing her favorite books on me, I would have been wondering what chores I could do instead of focusing on recovery.
Emma and I said our goodbyes to Wendy and one of her sons a few days ago. It was very hard to do. Emma and I sat down with her son while Wendy continued to finish cleaning her house. It was the last run through before she pulled her trailer away from home. When she closed her door for the last time, I took one look at her son – the son I cherished before he was born – and I lost it. I won’t be watching those boys grow any more. We won’t be heading to any football or soccer games. We won’t be having playdates at the park. We won’t be at the same high school graduation when the time comes. All of this ran through my mind. I looked at Wendy and cried some more. I know life takes us all in different directions. I know that friendships will continue across country. But saying goodbye was just hard to do.
It has been difficult driving home and not seeing her car parked outside her house. I know the new chapter and journey in her life will be fantastic and is very well deserved, but I can’t help miss that family already. I took for granted the fact that they were just down the street, something I have realized I should never do. Cancer taught me to love unconditionally, to cherish each of those moments as it is the last. This move is just a reminder to continue doing that.
Love has taken that family away from the community they were born and raised in, where many of their family and friends still reside. If I were in their shoes, I would follow love too. In fact, I did! It brought me to a community I love and friends that I adore. I know that if I need to talk, I could always pick up the phone. She’ll no longer be down the street to pop in for a visit, but I know she’ll always be there.
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