Sunday, 29 May 2011

Moving on

There are times when you realise that it's time to start a new chapter in your life, and my friend Karen reached that place recently.  She's decided to move away - just 8 miles down the road, but I'm finding it hard to accept that after 24 years of having her just across the road, she won't be there any more.
Karen and I met via our daughters back in about 1987.  We met at the swings where our girls were having fun going back and forth and we were standing beside them, gently keeping the momentum going.  Got chatting, turned out we lived in the same road.  The girls grew up together, went to the same primary school, then the same secondary school, then kept in touch even though they went to different universities.  Karen and I both had second children, one year apart.  She comforted me through the sudden death of my dad, and supported me through losing my mum after her brief battle with cancer.  I cried with her when she returned from holiday one year to discover her dad had died while she was away.  I babysat her youngest while she sat with her elder daughter in hospital when a second bout of chicken pox was wrongly diagnosed as meningitis.  I had her elder daughter come to stay when the younger was rushed into hospital with appendicitis and Karen's husband was away on business.  She sat me down with common sense if ever I had a stupid worry and a way of always seeing the best in bad situations.
Our husbands became friends and we were part of school quiz teams, and murder mystery parties, we even went on holiday together 6 times.  To see her suffer through being told by her husband that he had found someone else and was leaving after 17 years of marriage was so painful and we shared many boxes of tissues, and a few bottles of wine while we tried to find some sense in it all.  I hope that she found comfort in my support to build a new life on her own, and knowing that if she needed someone to talk to I was at the end of a phone and only 2 minutes away if I ran.  I've laughed with her at disasterous attempts at speed dating, internet dating, and blind dates and taken pleasure in knowing that 2 years ago she found someone who treats her with the love and respect she deserves.  She was determined to keep her girls' lives running exactly the same and saw them through school and university, managing somehow to finance the same family home with little to no financial support from her ex.  But the girls are all grown up now and both living away from home and that four bedroomed detached house is a little large for one lovely lady on her own, it needs a family to live there. 
So last night she gathered her friends and neighbours together and threw one last party before she leaves for pastures new.  And I have to say I'm finding it hard.  My common sense tells me she is probably only 15 minutes away by car but I love knowing she is close.  I know if I rang in an emergency she would be on her way round to help by the time I had put down the phone.  So much of my memories of our kids growing up include her and we have had so much fun and laughter in that house.  And  I know it's only right and sensible for her to move and my reasons for wanting her to stay are selfish ones, but boy I'm going to miss her. 

17 comments:

Karen said...

My heart bleeds for you Deb. I would be absolutely devastated if my best friend moved away but as you said it is only 15 minutes drive and that is no distance really. It wont be long before you get used to the new situation but until then I am sending you logs of hugs xxx

Gem's Crafts said...

My best friend moved away to London last Autumn, so we went from meeting every Tuesday for Brownies, and only being 15mins drive away, to being a four hour train ride away. So, I know how you feel, and it is incredibly sad, but I'm sure that you'll still see her all the time :)

Denise said...

Distance is only a word when you have such a good friend.I know it feels really horrible at the moment but you will never lose that closeness you have with her no matter how far away you are from each other.Sending you a HUGE hug - bet she will miss you big time as well x x x x x x x x x x

Alison said...

I really feel for you Deb...it's not easy to have changes occur , but as Karen says you'll get used to the extra distance-and I'll add my hugs to hers!
Alison xx

Alison said...

I meant to say thanks for your lovely comments..and I love that word 'Grockles'!
Alison xx

scrappyjacky said...

I'm sure you'll stay just as close friends,Deb....it'll just take a bit of time to get used to that extra distance.

Ginger said...

Change can always be difficult but she will always be there for you just as you are for her. Take care :)

Amy said...

I think all these women have said what I am thinking too - it is only a small distance, more than before but still managable ... and by the sounds of things, better for her on the house front.
:-)

Louise said...

aww a lovely post and you are lucky to have such a special friend xx

Cheryl said...

Oh Deb I know exactly how you feel, as 1 of my best friends moved away to Spain and I was devestated we now only see each other about twice a year. You are lucky 15 minutes is not a long way but I am still sending you soothing hugs xx

Cheri said...

Big hugs Deb. My heart goes out to you. Change is always hard, even little changes that affect everyday life. I hope you'll adjust quickly to the new "normal" and find that the distance is really nothing in a friendship that strong.

cate said...

how wonderful to have such a special friend, and so many great memories from over the years! but I'm a little teary for you, too, hoping you find a great new way to grow your friendship!

Sian said...

Such a finely written, deeply felt post Deb. Change like this is so hard, I know and I don't want to simply utter platitudes which won't help. So I'll just say - thinking of you x

Jo said...

I know exactly how you feel, my best friend of 36 years moved from 2 minutes up the road to America! She was there for 9 years and our friendship just got even stronger. I know it's horrible but I'm sure things will settle down quickly and you'll still be there for each other all the time

humel said...

Oh, Deb.... A very moving and honest post. I'm sorry, hun - sending hugs from me, too xx

Deb @ Paper Turtle said...

:o( So sad for you, Deb, but also very happy that you have such a great friend like this. She is very fortunate to have you as a friend too! ♥

WendyB said...

Aah, that bought tears to my eyes Deb, I understand how you feel. You've written a lovely post about your friendship and I'm sure it will continue to go from strength to strength x