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09-01-2003 @ 2:21 p.m.
The Move

Well, it's done. Stacey is gone. I've cried a river over it and I feel pretty wrung out. Empty.

In what was, for me, the ultimate test of a friendship, I helped my friend pack up her belongings and then helped her drive them 200 miles away. It reminded me very much of cleaning out my mother's craft room and her closet after she died. I almost feel like I've had a death in the family--not quite but there's a distinct similarity.

Ed drove one of their moving trucks, Marcus drove the other, Stacey drove the pick-up and I drove my car with Joey and Bayley in it. I cried and cried and cried as we drove away from their house. My heart was aching so badly I thought it might actually split in two. All I could think about was that my life as I had known it for the past 9 years was changing in a way that I still wasn't prepared for. I think I cried, off and on, for about 120 of those 200 miles, too.

There was a problem with recording the sale of the house so the close didn't actually go through on Friday and they didn't get the keys. The builder was kind enough, though, to let them unload the moving vans into the garage and we filled it up completely. They had to store their three bicyles at my sister's house because they wouldn't fit in the garage. There was an evil little voice inside of me that kept wanting to say "this is a bad omen--you'd better move back" but, of course, I didn't say that.

When we parted yesterday night, we hugged for a very long time and cried and cried. She's scared--she doesn't know anyone where they moved to except my sister and BIL. She's also worried about whether their business will take off or go belly up. She's worried that she might not be able to handle the weather there--it's very hot in the summer and very cold and snowy in the winter and she hates being cold and driving in snow. We'll miss each other like crazy but we'll do our best to see each other often. We're setting up video conferencing on the computers so we can see each other that way, too. And we have free long distance and free weekend minutes on our cell phones so talking to each other won't be a problem. But my day-to-day activities with her won't be the same--going to lunch, watching each other's children, shopping (she's my prime shopping partner, though Amy has stepped up to the plate nicely), hanging out.

I told her it was ok to have fun. I wanted her to know that I don't begrudge her doing what she needs to do to enjoy her life over there. I want her to make new friends and do the fun things there are to do there. I'm secure enough in our relationship that I know she won't find a replacement for me over there. We have a very deep bond.

So now I have this little empty feeling--I can't stop thinking about their house being vacant and her not being there. She's always been there and now she's not. It will take awhile for this nagging hollowness to go away, I'm sure.

There is a very naughty, evil part of me that wishes desperately for their business to fail and for the weather to be too extreme for them so that they decide to move back. I can't help it--I'm basically selfish. That same naughty, evil part wants to kick her husband in the nads for dragging my friend away on a whim--it's not like there was a job transfer or anything like that. He just wanted a change and decided that he needed to move 200 miles away to have this change. Part of me feels like he's putting his needs way ahead of his wife and daughter's and that makes me disinclined to like him. So I'm nice on the outside but on the inside, I'm cursing him out like a sailor.

Joey was very sad to leave Bayley last night, too. They've never been apart--they've known each other all of their almost 10 years of life. It's rough all over. They didn't get to see each other as much as they would have liked because they weren't in the same school but they were still best friends and sisters to each other. I think even Ed was sad to see them go. I think the only one unaffected by this whole thing is Marcus, which is another reason why I want to kick him in the shins.

I don't think I could do what Stacey is doing, to be quite frank. If Ed told me that he wanted to quit his job, move 200 miles away from everyone we know and love and start a new business, I think I'd revolt. I'm just not the kind of wife who can just say "ok, honey, if that's what you need." (And therein lies an issue that I had trouble with--because I wouldn't do it, it really bothered me that she could but I had to make peace with it--she's a different kind of wife than I am and their relationship is different from mine and Ed's.) But I couldn't do it. Unless it was my idea, too. But it wouldn't be my idea because I'm much more connected to people than he is. It was easy to move to Oregon because we didn't have any connections from school and no reason to stay where we were and I was moving to be closer to my family. But I told him that I was putting down roots so he'd better get used to the idea because I'm here to stay.

If he could possibly find work in Bend, I think I could move there and be near Stacey and my sister again, but the chances of that are exceedingly slim as it's a small job market (only 50K people live there in relative isolation) and not much in the way of corporate finance jobs available there. And to move there, I'd be leaving my other sister and her baby and I'm not sure I could do that, even to get Stacey back.

So here I am. I feel very alone. I feel slightly wounded. And if I think about it much, I get teary-eyed. We're going to the Griffins for a bbq this afternoon and I'm ever so glad. I just feel like I need to be with friends right now. And with Ed. I need arms around me and comfort and sex. Lots of sex. It's amazing how that makes you feel lots better. ;-)

--L

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