written Thursdsay, September 1st…

It is always sad when someone leaves home, unless they are simply going around the corner and will return in a few minutes with ice-cream sandwiches.

– Lemony Snicket

It’s always hard when people move. When you say goodbyes, even if the goodbyes are really, “I’ll-see-you-soons” (because they are), it still feels like the end of something old and the beginning of something new. Even if it’s the beginning of a grand love-filled adventure, it’s not easy.

My newlywed sister-in-law is leaving tomorrow for home – which isn’t New England anymore. She and her dad are packing up her car tomorrow and then will drive down to the Southern town where her husband is stationed. It’s only a hop out of a hop-skip-and-jump route by plane, but it’s far enough away. Much too far away after living 5 minutes from visiting with her for the last four months. And altogether too far away for two women who have been friends since they were six and wrote hundreds of letters to each other.

My friend, my pen-pal, my new sister…she’s leaving.

This ain’t no quick trip down to the store for ice-cream sandwiches. And while I know it’s only for a little less than 2 months, I know it’s the beginning of a separations that will probably last for a long time. Between her and my brother’s wife, it seems as though I keep gaining new sisters only to say goodbye to them. Such is the joys of military life…

But she’s leaving for a good reason – a military man that she’s madly in love with – and I know it’s not for forever. Her story and mine had three years of relearning friendship after a period of not seeing much of each other; it’s time for her story to go one way and mine another. Similar paths – newlywed married life! – but physically distant and so different in so many ways. Maybe our stories will meet up together again someday and our homes won’t be hundreds of miles apart. We’ll stay friends, keep in touch with the wonders of modern technology (Skype!) and see each other every so often.

And we’ll write letters, just like we did when we were only six and just starting a friendship. 🙂