In 2010 I lost my dad and we almost lost our business. We had to sell our beautiful home and move into a different neighborhood, ward and stake. When I think of 2010 I remember a lot of really hard days and nights.
It was in our new ward that I began visiting teaching with Natalie. I was drawn to her immediately; she was funny, smart, and wasn't afraid to admit her kids were fighting or she was mad at her husband. That goes so far when it comes to close friends.
We eventually introduced our husbands and a relationship began. BBQs, Friday nights at the pool with pizzas and regular dinners out where we'd talk about everything. We started taking family trips together (a couple of our adventures here and here). And last summer when I brought home a brand new baby on the last day of school facing three months in a house with four kids, Natalie called. Called me every single day and got me out of the house. We met at story hour at the library (despite the lady's voice) and sat by the pool for hours every week. I nursed the baby and told her how little sleep I'd gotten the night before and she always listened. Always asked questions. We discussed our kids and how hard they were and I never felt judged. Never felt in competition and never felt bad for feeling sad/mad/down. Natalie just got it.
Yesterday their moving van was packed and headed to Gig Harbor, WA. Jeff has been promoted and they're going to a place they've always wanted to live. I dropped off Larry at school and was sitting at a light when across Charleston I saw their packed vehicle with Jeff's bike on the back, staring right at me. I started yelling their names and blowing kisses and waving as they waved back and the light turned green. We headed our different ways. They're almost to Washington as I type this post.
Change is good and I know it's part of life but it's uncomfortable. It's hard to accept that we won't have dinner with them this weekend and our kids won't swim together all summer. And now I face the prospect of making new friends and hopefully getting close to at least one of them. Because everyone needs one friend who you don't have to clean your house for. Priceless.