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Saying good-bye



I've been a military wife for almost 8 years now. We've lived at 4 different duty stations and we are getting ready to move again. While the routine of moving has become {somewhat} familiar, saying good-bye has never become easier. Yesterday a good friend of mine moved away. While I plan on visiting her at their new duty station in the next couple months, I don't know when we will ever {if we will ever} be next door neighbors again.

There were many things I loved about living next door to this friend. She always had what I needed, for one. This could range from butter to wine to baby-sitting. She also always had a plate of cookies for us, always was up for a Target run, always ready for a girls night-- planned or not. We shared laughs, bottles of wine {or champagne in one lovely evening}, and tears. She's not much of a hugger, but I managed to get several big hugs from her {yay!}. We had game nights. I could always pop over to her house for an hour or two after my husband came home, taking no children with me, soaking up a much needed break and going home feeling refreshed when my hubby finally called to say the baby was hungry. To quote Little Women, we bore our souls and shared the most appalling secrets.

Over my time as a military family, we have made many wonderful friends along the way. I don't always feel like when I meet people that they know me, who I actually am, not just who I am right then. There are seasons of our life-- seasons where I'm dealing with pregnancy, newborns, strange schedules kept by my husband... seasons where I feel sad or lonely because I'm struggling to make friends and feeling I'm getting nowhere. But I don't feel defined by those seasons. I feel like myself passing through times in my life where I am dealing with various things. Sometimes when I meet people in the midst of those seasons, I think they get to know me right then, despite my best efforts to show them my crazy. I feel like this friend got to know me. My heart. And accepted me warmly. I feel like I got to know her. It was one of those rare times in life where you meet someone and recognize a part of yourself in them, despite all the differences between you-- because her and I were very different in a lot of ways, but very similar in many others. Then throw in the added bonus that my husband and her husband became friends, our kids got along great, and we were next door neighbors... this all added up to a perfect best friend cocktail. {And who doesn't love a cocktail?}

Last night when I was crying, my husband told me that it is always better to make friends and have your heart broken when they move than to not put yourself out there and to not make friends. I fully agree. However, today as I write this blog post and see her pile of recycling sitting outside her empty house, I can't help but feel sad. It hurts to say good-bye to people that you love, whether you've known them a long time or for just a year. Because a year is long enough to form a deep friendship, especially when that friendship just clicks.

Today my house feels a little different. The dust of military life has settled over it. We have said many hellos and good-byes along the way and some were felt more deeply than others. One thing that comforts me is that military wives are good at is using technology-- new and old-fashioned-- to keep in touch. We believe in mailing cards, Skyping, texting, Facebooking, and visiting. I loved living next door to my friend. I know that we will keep in touch and visit each other often. I am just sad to see this chapter close because I enjoyed it so much.

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