A little over a year ago, just before I began the bed rest phase of pregnancy, a new friend came into my life. Little did I know, as we were exchanging emails and waving at church, that a year later Melanie and I would be the dearest of friends.
A year later, my kids and Melanie's kids adore each other. Our families have laughed and cried and worked and served together. We have shared a church bench (third row, center) and a dinner table (theirs and ours). We have celebrated every major holiday together in the last 12 months.
Gavin is especially fond of Melanie and her family. He loves to talk to Melanie on the phone and play at her house and eat her delicious cookies. He begs to see her several times a day. In fact, every time we get in the car, he asks if we can go to Melanie's house. She loves him dearly and he knows it!
When Melanie's husband, Bob, got a job in Mesa in January, he moved in with my parents while Melanie and her kids stayed in Colorado Springs to sell their house. When my brother got married, Bob was an enormous help with our kids. When Bob and Melanie looked for an Arizona home, my brother was their real estate agent. Our lives have certainly become intertwined in a way I never expected...and I have loved every minute.
Tomorrow Melanie's family will move to Arizona. Even though they are going to Gilbert and we are slated to eventually follow, I am struggling with the loss. The timing of Melanie's appearance in my life has been a most treasured gift. I know that our friendship will surely endure the distance, but I will really miss the immediacy of her presence. I am not sure how to fill the void.
Today we ran away for lunch together -- with some of her kids and some of mine -- and toasted the closing of her Arizona home and the happy times we have shared. We haven't said our final goodbyes yet (do we have to?), but this was certainly a farewell.
Happy trails, dear friends! We hope to join you soon.