This week's prompt is "share".
I spent yesterday morning helping my oldest friend pack up her kitchen. Her and her family leave next Monday to move across the mountains. It was sweet to have just a couple more hours to share together, to pack up plates and cups and glassware almost as familiar as my own. Next time I see them, they'll be up in unfamiliar cupboards. We will share meals and coffee and drinks on them again, but exact time and location are still TBA.
We've been friends for thirty years, and only lived apart for two of them. Since that last reunion, we've seen each other through the end of our undergrad degrees and our first and second apartments. We've stood up at each other's weddings, held each other's babies, cried over each other's miscarriages. We've watched our husbands become closer friends, and our kids become like siblings. There have been coffees and playdates, ordinations and joint wedding anniversaries, extended phone calls and family dinners. Times we saw scads of each other, others where weeks slipped by on the assumption that we'd talk again next Sunday, or, if not, the Sunday after.
It is said the Lord works in mysterious ways. He calls one friend and her small family on to new and wonderful works, while calling the other and her small crew to stay still, to grow here for now, and pray. It is good, and strange, and exciting, but also challenging and more than a little sad. Our kids won't grow up living in each other's houses the way we both fondly remember. They'll be learning the art of long distance friendship; trading afternoon playdates and see-you-Sundays for skype calls and letters and the promise of long tracks of play at the end of the next road trip. It's closer to the relationship I had with cousins, and that was special too.
I don't see this as an ending, but another beginning. And all beginnings are hard, but that doesn't mean they can't be beautiful.
Safe journeys, my friend.