Today is moving day. Not my own, but of those who I love. So often we don’t realize how our hopes and dreams are intertwined with the lives of others.
Our neighbors are moving to another state. So am I. They are moving to Indiana. I am moving to one of an altered reality- one of disbelief, emptiness, loneliness. They are moving ahead. I am being left behind.
We knew this day would someday arrive. Yet, it was always so far off, it never quite seemed real. Brad and Kelly were newlyweds, both students, attending the nearby state university when we met. She was working on her masters degree and he on his doctorate. Eventually, years down the road, they would graduate and move away and he would teach and research at a large university. Someday.
Brad and Kelly own a large and charming duplex. My husband Cade and I bought the nearly condemned house two doors down. Cade’s “canvas.” My husband is both a carpenter and an artist. He is certainly a man with vision.
Our friendship with Brad and Kelly was my first indication that we had made the right decision in buying our dilapidated excuse of a home. They also served as a barometer of our progress. They visited us between classes and studying with comments on our progress and words of encouragement. I appreciated their perspective, especially during those filthy demolition days when we wore filter masks and shoveled debris from our floors. I longed for the days I could mop instead of shovel.
It was a time of transition for us. I was in the midst of coping with some disappointments. First, a devastating job loss as a result of healthcare reform. Next, a miscarriage which was an even more traumatic loss. Cade and I threw our time, money, and energy into renovating our home. We applied the same at attempting fertility.
As time went by and our home progressed, our friendships deepened and our lives became subtly intertwined. They got a puppy who quickly adopted our dog as his best friend and role model. Gipper and Katy developed their own form of communicaiton and play together practically every day. Brad and Cade are bonded in the brotherhood of football. While they actively coached the teams on TV, Kelly and I took long walks and enjoyed long talks.
It was during one of our football gatherings that Kelly announced she was pregnant. I was excited and sad at the same time. A baby would add a colorful dimension to our friendship. And I was sure I would get pregnant soon, too. Our babies, too, would be friends.
On the night their son was born, Cade and I celebrated his arrival over a bottle of wine and a romantic dinner. It was a happy time followed by even more as we watched him grow and change during his first year of life.
Other things have changed as well. Brad and Kelly have both graduated and Brad is officially a doctor! My position working with hospitalized children was reinstated and I am again working where I belong. And our house, though still in progress, is a work of art unfolding. Cade’s canvas. It is no longer a construction site but finally a beautiful home. Every room proclaims his amazing talent. Every detail signifies his investment in our future.
I see the moving van through my front window. Strong workers lift heavy boxes. I wish something could lift the heaviness in my heart.
I know new beginnings can’t happen without something ending. And I know my sadness will subside, but it’s hard to say good-bye. I am touched by the beauty of friendship and the blessings of love. I am thankful for the history that two families have shared.
Tomorrow my dog will be looking for her friend and I will be missing mine. The silence will be deafening. But it is still today. And it is time to say good-bye. To special friends and a special time. It’s time to move on. It’s moving day.