I’ve moved around quite a bit in my lifetime, although certainly not as much as some folks I know. During the course of those moves, I’ve made some incredibly beautiful friendships…and then I’ve left those people behind. We keep in touch, although not as much as we should. As the days turn into weeks, inevitably sliding into years, it gets easier and easier to watch from afar and what were once close relationships turn into acquaintances. Life gets busy, and before you know it, you haven’t spoken to people who matter in so long that you can’t remember when it actually last was. While we live in a society with relatively cheap air fare and getting into a car is easy enough, visits don’t happen.
As an adult, I’ve lived in three different states, and in each one, I’ve left behind folks that matter to me – best friends, family, incredible teaching partners. I was doing the math recently, and it was shocking to me to realize that I’ve been gone from Reno for more than a decade now. How did that happen? When did that happen? Where has the time gone?
There are a few people that I would give just about anything to spend more time with if I could, and as I was thinking about this post – about who I would want to spend more time with it was hard not to make a laundry list of people. But as I really thought about it, wrote about it in my morning pages, weighed who and why, there really was only one answer…& I hope that I don’t offend some of those other potential folks. It’s not that I don’t miss them; it’s just that I miss her and our connection more.
We finished our bachelor’s degrees together, started our teaching careers together, bonded over the group therapy sessions that were offered as a part of our new teacher induction program, spent sweltering summers in Mississippi working on our masters degrees, took long road trips across the country together. I was at her wedding; she was at mine. Because I was here, I missed being able to support her through infertility treatments. I missed the birth of her son. I missed being able to support her in the wake of the diving accident that left her husband paralyzed. I wasn’t there to support her in her own struggles with breast cancer.
I’ve been fortunate to be able to spend some time with her here and there, but it is never, never, never enough when people mean the world to you. The last time I saw her was in September of 2013; I can’t remember the last time we talked on the phone, chatted on Facebook, sent text messages, or made time to just catch up. Amber is finally on Facebook, so I get to see a little bit more of her there. Her life is busy, though, and she doesn’t post a lot. Her life is busy with a toddler and her husband and caring for herself.
I never want to impose because I know she has a lot on her plate, so I don’t call as often as I should, I don’t send messages, I don’t write. I certainly should. And can. And will.
But that doesn’t change that I miss her and her dry humor, her quick wit, her quiet assurance, her passion and her love.
There was a lot in my life I wouldn’t have gotten through without her, and I hate that my life has taken me to this place that is so very far from her…although this life of mine now wouldn’t be possible without her love and support. It’s a quandary. I wouldn’t be where I am without her, and with her, I’m somewhere far from her.
I disagree with Mr. Bach. Vehemently and forcefully. No, no if you love someone you’re not already there when you live 2500 miles apart. One of the things that really rendered my potential relationship with my sister-in-law was my telling her that when her husband joined her in their new city, it would make being away from friends and family easier but there are things that never get easier…even if there is someone there to love you and support you. I’ve been doing this distance thing for decades; it never gets easier to be away from your loved ones when they need you or you need them, when they are hurting or joyous, when you are experiencing the same.
When the person you love (platonically or romantically) is so far away, you miss lots of things, some of them painful, some of them wonderful, most of them mundane. In the last decade, I’ve missed so much in the life of a very good – one of my BEST – friends. Maybe it’s a natural progression, but I don’t want it to be. I’d love to have a week – to sit on the couch, to talk, to just be. I don’t know where that time comes from, but if it could happen, I’d be in heaven.
Who are you missing? If you could snap your fingers and be able to spend uninterrupted time with someone, who would it be?