Tender at the (Everyday) Heart

So our friends, our good, lives on our block, spends holidays and birthdays together, swaps kids back and forth often, have been hanging out together since our oldest were babies, friends… are moving.

Moving. As in, moving away. To another state.
On August 1st.
Ruthie, Dan, and JJ will no longer be our go-to friends, for borrowing sugar, or borrowing company for a bonfire, or nada.
And we are all just so sad about this; it’s really a sight to see. I am not a weepy person, and there has been weeping. In fact, the tears keep sneaking up on me, which is really wigging my shit out, but there they are, filling up my eyes, making me feel like there is a GIANT SPOTLIGHT on me and everyone in the whole entire world- or at least everyone in this zip code- can see me sniffling like a jerk.
And my kids are sad, sorry, little sacks of bones. I told the girls about it a few days ago, and big crocodile tears rolled down their cheeks. And I honestly can’t even type that without getting all choked up myself. The sweet self-talk (but JJ will still invite us to his birthday! And we can go and visit him! Road trips are fun!); my girls trying to make it all ok.
And really? birthday parties? My girls- in their lack of understanding- are worried about JJ’s birthday party? They have not yet absorbed that he won’t be here, just a few houses away, for whenever they are bored and/or lonely or have a great idea for a game or want to have a lemonade stand. That he simply won’t be here at all. His birthday party is, like, 2 hours out of the year that is probably the least quality time they spend with him all year.
I know it’s not about me- not about us- at all. I know. And I’m happy for them, for I know Dan has been unhappy here in his profession for awhile. His new job is perfect for him and is a excellent career move. The area they are moving to has countless amazing opportunities for all of them. They need to do this, and they will be happy there.
But it sure seems like it is about us. I suppose that was mourning does- it makes you lose perspective, or at least not be able to logic-talk yourself to a place of peace. The sadness has to come; it’s how the process works.
The thing is, we have so many wonderful friends here. In fact, Ruthie isn’t even my best friend here. Nor is Dan David’s. But the ease in which JJ slips into our family life, the way they all fit around our dinner table- unplanned, usually- so perfectly, the simplicity of Marin joining their pew at church, the way being in their home or hanging around their yard is so comfortable… It’s all the most natural, beautiful thing. As a family, they are our closest friends, because being with them just makes sense.
When we are with them, or they with us, there is no disruption… it’s just smooth and normal.
So while I feel so fortunate to have so many other friends here- and you can ask the other Tiny Town peeps, because we are all just amazed that there are so many cool people here, and that we have found each other- Dan, Ruthie, and JJ ‘s leaving will be felt deeply by our family.
I’m not even sure we understand it yet.
The weird thing is that I’ve been so shy around them about how I really feel about them going. I mean, they know I’m sad, but I haven’t been able to say to them how broken I- we- feel. I guess I’m just being… what? strong? for them? Or, maybe I don’t want to talk about it for fear of Teh Ugly Cry? I’m not sure.
I was putting Marin to bed tonight, and she had big fat tears and a quivering bottom lip. My three year old. Who I didn’t even realize understood that they were moving. Was crying about missing Ruthie. Ruthie, Dan, and JJ have always treated Marin like the family pet (ah… we all sorta do that) and have always had a huge soft spot for her. I just had no idea that she felt the same way about them, or that she would be able to be feeling that way now, before they left. I mean, she’s THREE.
We’ll still seem them, sure. They have family in Minnesota. We’re still planning our annual camping trip. We will go and visit them. Road trips are fun!
But the things I love the most about them- how our gatherings are spontaneous and fun, how we just see each other while going about our normal lives, how we are raising our families together, how none of it takes any effort- are the very things that are not possible living far away from each other.
I like coming downstairs to find JJ smashed between my girls on the sofa, watching tv. Or to hear a man’s voice and peek into the family room to find Dan chatting with Marin. Or to look out my window to see them walking by, glancing at our window, and waving hello.
I’ll miss their seeing their faces as regulars as the filmstrip of our lives rolls by. I don’t want guest appearances; I want them as everyday cast members.
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8 thoughts on “Tender at the (Everyday) Heart

  1. Leaving is hard and I feel like we’re always the ones leaving.

    But this post reminded me that being left is hard in it’s own special way. The hole that is left is so obvious. The leavers have all new things to focus on. The left have only the holes and reminders of what used to be there.

    (I was going for inspirational and cheering-up. I think I missed my mark but the baby is waking up so….)

  2. Even though it’s not “about” you (as in, they’re not ditching you because they don’t like you any more), it’s still HAPPENING to you. It sounds like a wonderful family friendship, and those are so hard to find, so this is a big loss. If I were you, because I wouldn’t want to sob around them, I would wait until they were gone and then send a housewarming care package to their new house, with a letter saying a version of what you said here.

  3. Ugh, this sucks. Neighbor friends, even if they aren’t your BEST friends, are a special kind of friend. And they fit into your life in a daily way and it is weird and wrong when suddenly they aren’t there anymore. So sorry you’re going through this. I do believe you really will be able to maintain the friendship, though.

  4. Thanks everyone… and Shelley- I blogged about this recently but it was this same family I was referring to. He almost took a different job, but it didn’t work out, but I knew he was still looking. After that job fell through, I let my guard down for awhile, thinking that they’d be here another year or so…

  5. I’m sorry to hear about your friends leaving!!! It’s hard to be the one left behind. I wish the people we love could be around us always, and nobody ever left. 😦

  6. It’s hard when friends that are only really friend w/ one portion of our family (me, or the kids, or Matt) move away. I can’t imagine when entire family friends go – we haven’t developed many of those type of friendships yet… There was a family I babysat for in college that Matt and I spent the first part of our dating/engaged life with quite a bit. They moved to Nebraska a few weeks after our wedding and it still makes me sad to be so far from them.

    I am sorry you are on the “being left” end of things – it’s hard.

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