Last week was a rough week for us. We said goodbye to two separate families that don’t know each other that moved the same week.
One we had known was coming, the husband had taken a job in another state. S2 had gone to school with these kids since kindergarten. There was no preparing him for what it would be like when his friend moved away.
A week before the big move, four of us girls got together for dinner as a “send off” for Terri, who was moving. We settled in at some funky high top table at Applebees at six pm when the restaurant was crowded busy and we left at nine when the place was nearly empty and the late crowd was just filing in.
“This was fun!” Debie said as we pulled on our coats that Tuesday night to head for home.
“Too bad we thought to finally do this the week before I leave,” Terri added.
And it struck me, maybe it struck us all, why did we wait until then?
It’s not that the four of us don’t see each other enough, it’s just the four of us see each other all the time – for short snippets of time. We say “hey” as we enter or leave the school our kids attend. We catch up a bit while checking out a library book. We comment on facebook posts.
But that three hours spent at some terrible awkward high top table at Applebees, we shared life. We looked at photos of Terri’s new house (that has a palm tree in the yard! So hard to imagine in tundra Michigan!) and talked over Pinterest things and discussed new hair styles.
Why haven’t we been doing this for years?
I forgot to have the waitress take a photo of us so the day before Terri left she stopped at the library and Debie met us and we all posed for a quick photo.
I am quite certain this is the only photo of the four of us ever taken.
The next day, as in, less than 24 hours later, at the library we were posing for another photo.
I will never forget the day Diema came into the library and I had to type her name as it sounded so I didn’t mess up pronouncing it. Lilly and Abby were in the twin stroller, she was pregnant for Miraculous Malachi (her story to tell) and Richard and Meredith didn’t kind of melt our hearts, they had us wrapped soundly around their little pinkies.
It weighed on me a bit this week, knowing I was saying goodbye to two friends in the same week. My husband took pity on me. “Find something good about them leaving and blog about it.”
What’s good about your friends moving away is you take the time to tell them you appreciate them. You say the things you mean to say. Not as though they are dying, it’s not traumatic as all that. And heaven knows facebook and skype make keeping in touch super easy.
We so often get so wrapped up in life because it is LIFE, it is so daily, so daily demanding, that we take for granted the little gifts surrounding us. Those little gifts are the big things.
Make an effort to have a group of you and your friends get together once in awhile. Every month? Every other month? Three times a year? Heck, once a year is better than never! Plan the day and make an effort to get out there together.
Don’t be all weirdo emotional all the time but let someone know if you appreciate them. Diema’s kids gave us hugs every time they were at Story Time and often made us pictures. Never underestimate the power of a smile, a little gift, the sharing of hand sanitizer and hand lotion (as Meredith needed some every single time she visited. :) ).
What I have loved about Praise and Coffee is that it is excuse to get together and structured as a time to get to the heart of the matter and share life together.
I know we are all busy and I am preaching to myself here, but I know that I plan to make an extra effort to make time for getting together with friends. Saying “yes” more often than “I can’t make it”.
Right after eating these wonderful blueberry muffins Terri left me the recipe for (after delivering them, still warm, to us at the library just before she left).