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Never Can Say Good-bye

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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.

Bon voyage.

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Being Schooled by My Child

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Several friends have commented that my posts have all been terribly deep.  Well, sometimes that happens.  Particularly when my mind is particularly swirly.  So – tonight I write about something a tad bit lighter.

Monkey #3 – the girl child – is a fascinating creature.  She has SUCH a dominant personality.  She doesn’t ask…she DEMANDS.  When she doesn’t get her way, or when asked to do something she deems beneath her – beware of the wrath.  The world is her stage and we were only put here to bask in her glory.

However, she is also one of the kindest, friendliest, most compassionate people I have ever met.   I could learn much from her.

Lesson 1.  Consider everyone your friend.  Whenever The Girl Monkey tells a story about someone she knows, she always begins with “My friend, (fill in the blank), in my (class, ballet class, club, etc).  It’s not “this girl” or “someone.”  It’s always “my friend.”  I am incredibly jealous of this ability.  I am an extroverted introvert.  I am quite shy – until I get to know you.  And if I am in a situation where I don’t know anyone, I try to just melt into the background.  I have never been able to just walk into a new environment and become friends with everyone in the room.  Because of this, there are many people I know that don’t really know me – the real me.  The Girl Child, always lays it right out on the table.  “This is who I am!  Come be my friend!”

2.  Spread the joy that is you to everyone you meet.  One of my mentorees at school (I’ll call her My Part Monkey – or MPM) is in the hospital.  Her appendix ruptured.  Quite scary.  My Part Monkey doesn’t come from what anyone would consider a prosperous family.  Frequently they are without a utility – or food.  I have gone to visit her a couple of times this week to give her some loves.  Last night at tuck-in-time, The Girl Child stated that she wanted to visit MPM in the hospital.  Today, she accompanied me, bringing with her a coloring book she hadn’t used and a book that she had finished reading.  Bravely, she walked the halls of the children’s hospital, not at all scared of the very sick children around her.  When MPM saw The Girl Child, her face lit up.  Sure she was happy to see ME – but The Girl Child was the first kid – other than family – that had come to visit.

We didn’t stay long.  MPM was tired, and The Girl Child had to get to ballet rehearsal.  But, as we were preparing to leave, The Girl Child announced that she wanted to come back tomorrow.  And this time stay longer.

When asked why she wanted to go back, she simply replied, “Because she is my friend.”

And that’s what friends do…

Amazing.

There are times when The Girl Child tries my patience.

There are times when I am tempted to put The Girl Child outside to be raised by wolves.

There are times when I want to call my mother and apologize for everything I did as a girl – usually as The Girl Child is loudly expressing her displeasure at a request made to her.

Then, there are times when I look at The Girl Child and think, how I wish I was more like her.

Then again, maybe one of her in the world is plenty.