My best friend is moving.
I searched for a way to gently untie the knots that keep my heart attached to having her close, but they were too strong. Yet, as I've dealt with the pain of having those torn apart, I have found comfort in the stable, strong knots that keep my heart attached to her.
She handed me a gift in the airport drop-off zone on Tuesday, wrapped in a pretty, brown, knitted bag. "You can open this once you get on the plane..." she said. It was our final goodbye before she leaves...while I'm vacationing in Yellowstone, enjoying the Alder family reunion, she will pack her life into a moving van and drive south on the 85 to Atlanta.
An hour later, I stuffed my bags into the overhead compartments, and got the kids interested in drawing pictures of airplanes and houses. "I'm making this one for Katie," McKenzie said. I glanced over just as she finished writing,
"That's great, Kenz. We'll have to mail it to her when we get home and find out her new address." The plane started backing away from the terminal and I pulled out the little brown, knitted bag. I read her beautiful card through my tears and carefully opened up the package.
Perfect. In so many ways.
Katie has a passion for learning. . . it's something that I've admired in her countless times . . . and it was that passion that inspired me to take a photography class. The same time I took my class, she took a pottery class; just because. I have always loved Katie's desire to learn new things; and now I have a token of it.
She also has a layer of simplicity that has been refreshing and calming to me over the years. If she doesn't need it, she doesn't own it. So when I saw that just the first initials of our first names were etched in the clay, I felt as if I was holding just a little bit of that simplicity.
The airplane picked up speed and began to shake with the anticipation of lifting into the air. In a moment the shaking turned to a smooth ascent, and I looked out the window as the city I know sank below me. I'm aware that when I return there will be a hole in my life where Katie and Eric's musings used to be, but as I watched my city disappear I felt peace. I felt happy and grateful that I've spent the last five years with these people, and that I love them enough to hurt when they leave.
Good luck in Atlanta, guys. We'll see you soon.