When I was younger, making friends was easy. People often joke that I was friends with everyone. I suppose most little kids are. I befriended neighbors and strangers alike. I’m not sure I really had a best friend -because everyone was my best friend. When I got a little older I had a close group of friends.
Then somewhere over the years my friends moved away and I fell into a comfortable area of life where my sister was my best friend (and really, still is). Then she grew up, got married and moved away. While nothing much changed (other than the fact, of course -that she moved a billion and one miles away, got married, has kids and started a life of her own!) I am still here. She is still there.
I guess I lost the ability to befriend everyone.
I don’t remember when, exactly -but a few years ago I had this prayer that I prayed on a regular basis. It went something to the tune of asking for a friend. I specifically remember saying that I didn’t need a bunch of friends -just one. One really good friend. I suppose you have to be careful what you pray for -because sometimes God answers those prayers.
Because I got that one really good friend.
One that quickly became that person that made me laugh. The one that traveled the world with me. Plotted silly things. Watched movies. Hiked waterfalls. That one that you exchange a look with over the table when teaching an especially difficult child -and know that they have your back. Over the years we have shared many different memories. Traveled many different places. Laughed about so many different things. Shared stories. Prayed with each other. For each other. We have shared more cups of coffee than I can count.
Both of our lives have changed over the years, ups and downs -ins and outs.
We started teaching Sunday school this year -in separate class rooms, but with a shared door. Early Sunday morning when I am going over my lesson -the door will slide open and she will march in.
Over the past few years I have stopped praying for that one special friend, and instead starting thanking God for her. Asking that I become a better friend to her. That I can be the same kind of friend to her -that she is to me.
Last year we traveled to England. France. Germany. Italy. And Ireland. We have memories and stories that only need one word to evoke those special times. To make us laugh. Remember.
But the thing about Ketchikan is that no one stays here forever. I knew that when I met her, they were only planning to stay a few years -but I pushed those thoughts aside and instead focused on living now. In the present. Not thinking about that day. Secretly hoping that she would stay longer.
…and then the time came. Where her family announced they were leaving.
It took me a few days before I could even think about it without bursting into tears. It’s hard to say good-bye. I’m still not entirely ok with it. But I am trying to be happy. To know that she is embarking on an adventure that will be filled with so many opportunities. I still get sad thinking about a life without her in it on a daily basis. I still am plotting ways to make her stay. But I am also thanking God for a wonderful friend that has made my life so much better.
A friend who has encouraged me over the years, a friend that God used to answer my prayer. That one special friend who it is hard to say good-bye to.
I’m going to try and be a better friend -a more open, willing, happy person -much like she was. To take these things that she has shown to me -and show them to others.
Thanks for being an awesome friend, Morgan.
Thank you for being a part of my life, and being a wonderfully awesome friend.
Don’t stay gone too long -there is so much more of the world to see (and so much more coffee to consume!)