So, last night one of my best friends told me she’s moving across the country. So it was true. I had heard a half baked rumor through the kids and I was hoping that it had been like a game of telephone and they had somehow gotten it wrong. She was going to be bi-coastal, right? Wrong. Whole family moving. In five months. As she launched into the whole story, which she hadn’t wanted to tell me until things were certain, as I heard the exciting details and how it had all come to pass, I felt the lump in my throat and then the hot tears rolling down my cheeks. I think she heard a sniff because she suddenly stopped and said, “are you crying?” And I wailed, “don’t be mad at me but YES! I’m devastated!” But in the next breath I assured her that I was indeed happy for her and excited for this new adventure in her life and that I am here for her 100%. About an hour after our conversation, after I had told my husband and our son, I was sitting on the couch and my husband walks by and seeing my tears said, “really? Come on!” And I said, “but she’s my GIRL! I’m SAD!” I realized this morning that I haven’t had to deal with a close friend moving away in many, many years. One of the benefits of living in Mayberry is that people don’t leave! Change. Ugh. Why are we so afraid of it? It’s kind of ridiculous that we think that things can possibly stay just as they are because they never do, they never have. But in some illogical part of our brain we want our kids to stay small and cuddle us forever. My son’s almost 11, so I know this time is getting shorter by the day. Hanging on for dear life, I know each morning that he climbs in our bed to warm his feet may be the last. Is this fear of change learned behavior or just human nature? I know my son still gives me hell for giving away our precious couch two years ago! So, what am I afraid of? Afraid I won’t “have “ her anymore…see her every day, commiserate on things big and small, meaningful and trite. See, she’s one of those girlfriends where you know the friendship just “is”. You know you’re safe, you know you can speak freely without being judged, it’s good, it’s easy. The older I get, I realize how rare that truly is and how much we need to cherish it when we find it….wherever we find it. So, okay, for a while, perhaps a long while, the framework of our friendship is going to look a little different. Okay, a lot different! But we’re already planning visits and adventures we would have never taken. So, here we go. Deep breath. Because while the framework may change, what is at the core will not. We know we “got” each other, through good times and bad, in sickness and in health, the love, the friendship, the laughter, the bitching & kvetching, the recipe sharing, the tornado of adolescence that’s starting to blow… we will still be there for each other in all the ways that matter. And for the next five months I do solemnly swear to not give her the puppy dog sad face, but rather to be her number one cheerleader as she prepares for this next race in what we all hope will be a very long marathon called life. And I’m oh so grateful that she and I are in it together. Change. Bring it on!