I’ve been meaning to write this blog entry for weeks. And yet, as I sit here and type, I can’t swallow the lump in my throat.
As military spouses, we say good bye lots of times: to our family and friends back home, to our spouses, and to the military friends that we make along this crazy journey. Two weeks ago, my best milspouse friend moved away. I’ve said goodbye to lots of good friends, but this one is different.
Beth and I have spent our entire time as military spouses together. We married our husbands within two months of each other; we’ve been stationed at every base together for the past seven years. Our dogs are best friends. My almost three-year-old idolizes her almost five-year-old.
I had a rough semester of teaching when Craig first deployed. One of my more complicated students wrote some threatening things in his journal, was suspended indefinitely, then somehow was cleared to return to school the next morning, knowing that I had turned his threats in. The crazy thing was: no one thought to tell me this. All my students knew Craig was gone; I was home alone with little protection (that has since changed) and I was terrified that this student, with a history of psychotic and violent behavior, could pose a real threat. I was allowed to leave school early that day, but I didn’t go home. I went to Beth’s house. Her husband was gone on a training detachment at the time, and I spent the entire day there, holding her baby, as we chatted about everything else in the world. I went home with a sense of calm that I wouldn’t have otherwise had. That’s the type of friend Beth is.
I’m sure you all have friends like Beth: you go to their house, or they show up at yours, with coffee, dogs, and kids in tow, and play on the floor, discussing everything that happened in The Real Housewives, and laughing at silly stories (like when one’s husband went grocery shopping and didn’t know that green bananas were hard as bricks because they weren’t ripe). The type of friend that, when you have a seemingly major health scare, will drop everything to babysit your child all day, one week before their moving date.
They certainly didn’t move far away, only a few states, but I’m scared that we’ll drift apart. I have said goodbye to military friends in the past and we always plan on staying close, but most of the time that doesn’t happen. Life happens. New friendships happen. I’m not ready for this one to end.
What do you do to stay close to your friends?
(Our dogs seriously are best friends. This is after a day of playing together.)