Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Good byes VS See you laters

I hate when people I love move away.

I just plain hate it.

I am certainly learning (and should have by now) that life is really mostly made up of, what seems to be, a few hellos and a lot of good byes.

It probably seems that way because when you meet someone they aren't really someone to you yet. They are often just another face along your day. Sometimes you barely notice them, sometimes you barely like them and sometimes you think 'hmmmmm we could be friends' (or when I was sixteen if the person I met was a nice fella within a decade of myself older I thought 'Hmmmmmm I wonder if you're THE one?')/

As time has trudged on (without necessarily getting my permission) I have come to realize that good byes (or see you laters) are never easy.

I've seen that growing apart from another person, slowly and unoticably(at first) seems to be the most merciful to your soul, it still holds it's own sting.

And though there are relationships you know you'll hold forever it's never easy to hug not knowing when you'll meet again.

I've also learned that often when you part you'll grow stronger than you ever could have if you were closer together (hmmmmm, kind of like when you plant a garden).

My closest far away friend moved a couple of years after Wally and I were married. At the time when she told me that she'd met this guy I knew what her next words would be. I cried. 'The guy' was from Michigan. How dare he. Steal my friend.

Well I got another year with her before she left. I don't think I was smart enough to make the most of it by any means but perhaps for a reason. When she moved she lived across the border a couple of hours away and we stayed in touch.

A few years later during a visit she shared that she was pregnant AND they were moving .... to a land far far away called Florida. I cried again.

But it seemed that the further she moved the closer we actually got. We had our ups and downs (and by that I don't mean fights, mostly just times of feeling more close than others). I will admit on my end I wondered if our friendship would last. It's not always easy watching someone else live the life you want or being able to identify with that life when yours is so very different.

We kept on it though and still shared an open, honest and in my opinion wonderful friendship. I hate that I cant' be there for her physically for when she needs help and that we have to schedule so carefully around our lives to chat ... but as they say... that's life.

That friendship though is a prime example of how some friendships can thrive with distance (if cared for). Both of us agree that it wouldn't be the relationship it is if she hadn't moved away.

Yesterday I said good bye to my best college friend. She's someone I 'get' and who is my kind of honest. She's flighty but caring, young but smart. She's been through more in her 21 years than I could have ever imagined at that age. I love her very much.

She's not moving far but far enough for me to wonder if we'll connect ever again. It may sound like I'm doubting the strength of our friendship, but I'm not. I just don't know if it was created with the purpose of a forever kind.

It's when I realize that that I feel that lump grow in my throat. Not because I'll necessarily miss her in my life on a day to day basis but more as the realization that possibly her purpose in my life has been fulfilled. And, it could be true that we never connect the same again. But that's ok. We have other people to touch and help grow.

It's still sometimes sad to say good bye to that part of your life.

My aunt's passing was the greatest lesson I've ever experienced in the realm of good byes. Knowing that I would never see her face again (on earth), never hear her laugh, never have one of though 'heart to heart' chats a girl can only have with a woman 20 years older than herself.

It was then I had to face the kind of good bye that is more like a 'see you later' only with a very, very (what seems to be) long wait til the later part. I am thankful for my faith and just as much for hers. I have no doubts we will meet again (I do recommend 'Heaven is for Real' for anyone sort of on the fence ... and the Bible works too - I'm not the best thumper).

Along with the good bye I had to say to her I also had to come to terms with the fact that living good byes (the ones when you part expecting to see and connect with one another again but may not realize for years that you won't ever) are sometimes the hardest ones there are.

When I said 'See you later' to my aunt I knew that was it. When you say good bye to a close friend without knowing where life is taking either one of you that is hard. Really, really hard.

This brings me to Glo. I've talked a lot about Glo and our unexpected friendship. It's one that seemed to birth out of a deep mutual respect and enjoyment of one another. I was always just as honoured and excited as she was to spend our time together. We both admitted that we were always so happy when the other actual wanted to spend time with us (hopefully you get that).

This week Glo out of town and our schedules didn't line up for our regular 3 or 4 usual visits during the week of hang out time at the gym, cooking in the kitchen or doing something new. It's funny because I sensed that I was beginning to take our time for granted as of late, it was confirmed when I learned Glo would be away for the week (or part of it). I realized it would be empty. As I thought of it last night I cried on my way home from work.

Glo leaves for Holland in 6 weeks. I'm pretty sure the sunshine is going to go with her.

I know, I sound like a wreck. I'll probably be one by mid July and into August, September, October, November, December and until she comes home.

You know what though. My greatest fear isn't her leaving, it's whatever life has in store from us that will grow us and change us. Sometimes we aren't meant to have the same friends forever. Sometimes we cant' grow properly if we do.

I think both Glo and I would argue for hours that we are meant beyond a doubt to be friends for always and I truly pray that is true. But there's always a little bit o me that has developed since my aunts passing that knows only time will dictate how we are able to care for and hold onto what we have.

Will be be given the strength and understanding to keep things strong? Are we meant to be friends for years to come? Will we be stronger the further away we are from one another? Or was friendship only meant for us for only a season, to feed each other's spirits, to encourage and inspire one another during a time we really needed it?

That's the hardest part about a good bye. Not knowing if it's good bye or see you later.

Thank goodness Glo's still here. Hopefully knowing I'm not intending this to be the obituary of our friendship but rather me getting out my greatest fear so that I can make room for a wonderful dream of hope.

What do I hope for in this friendship?

Fun cards, endless e-mails, excited phone calls, deep conversations, honest emotions, 'We're having a baby!', 'So am I!', 'We're coming to visit!', 'I'm moving to a wonderful town not too far away!'.

That's what I want.

That's what I hope for.

Yes I'm sniffling like a baby.

Or ... a little girl who's losing one of her closest friends right now. Even though she will surely be saying 'See you later!'