I am sure I am not alone in this, but, saying good-bye to someone is incredibly hard for me. Thoughts of everything I wanted to say, but never did, come flooding into my mind. Swirling around. Bouncing into one another. It doesn’t help that I am a rather emotional person. So, when the words start bouncing – the tears start to come – and I end up not saying what I should.
In the next few days, I am going to have to say good-bye to one of the most important people in my life. But, I can’t.
For 15 years, I have worked with Kimber. And in those 15 years, she has become so much more than just a co-worker. She has become one of my very best friends. And now, she is moving. To Texas. Half way across the country. And I feel as if a part of me is moving away, too.
I have been in denial about it since she told me about it in January – refusing to admit it was actually going to happen. Yet, here we are. No matter how much wishin’ and hopin’ and thinkin’ and prayin’ I did – she is still going to be leaving.
For 15 years, we have had lunch together nearly every day (with the exception of the years when our lunches were scheduled too far apart). We became friends while I was still single. She supported me through my wedding. Shared my joy in each of my pregnancies. Loved my children almost as much as I do. Taught two of them. Held my hand as I made the decision to get divorced. Listened to my stories of beginning to date again. Felt my excitement when I thought I had found my forever love, and then held me as I cried when that relationship ended.
When money was tight – she would just hand me a check, or a grocery store gift card.
When I have been so busy with things I haven’t been able to breathe – she has quietly brought homemade dinners for my children.
She has picked up clothes for me – just because she thought I would look cute in it.
Each time she simply says, “I hope this blesses you.” And each time it has. More than I have been able to say.
Not that everything is heart and flowers. We have VERY differing opinions about some very important things – namely politics. But, we have learned to STAY AWAY from those topics. And when we do get into a heated discussion about things, we don’t let it destroy our friendship.
In these 15 years, she has become far more than just a friend. She has become part of my family.
Monday, her students threw a “surprise” going away party for her, and my class and I were invited over for it. The whole time I was fighting the tears, because once I started crying, it was going to be an UH-GUH-LEE cry. One of my very astute students came up to me and said, “You know, I have always seen you two more as sisters than just friends.” How right she was. Kimber has become far more than just a friend. She has become the big sister I always wanted. And I love her as much as if she had been.
I believe God puts some people in your life for a reason. Those people who leave you changed for good. And I believe Kimber is one such person.
I know in my heart, our friendship is not over.
I know in my heart, she will be a part of me forever.
So, with tear streaming down my cheeks, I say good-bye my dear dear friend. Thank you for being a part of my life. Thank you for every little thing that I may have forgotten to say thank you for.
I love you, my dear friend.