You know who you are.

You make me laugh a little louder, smile a little bigger and live just a little better. My life is happier, funnier and that bit brighter when you’re in it. You know me in a way that nobody else does and have an incredible ability to make me feel better just by being by my side. You make the good times better and the hard times easier. We could never spend too much time together, and we could never run out of things to say.

I’m so lucky and blessed to share my life with you. Such incredible, precious, funny, caring people who make me laugh and make me cry. Life’s treasures; like-minded, cherished friends, the ones you know you can call upon for anything.

Well, this one is for you, the most hardcore trusty lot I’ve left behind, the hours and hours of friendship, the years of memories and shared history.

The pilgrimage to London was all about you. The giddy excitement, the sleepless nights, the months of anticipation and the goosebumps of landing back in Gatwick. Putting our travels on pause and relishing that delicious feeling of being settled again. The familiar faces, places and tiny simple things of home bringing happiness and comfort. Home is the nicest place there is, and you’re the people that make it home.

It felt like we had forever, but as soon as I’m back the time passes by in a blur. I want it to slow down, to press pause and to hold onto this moment with you just a little while longer. I’m letting my roots grow even though I know it’s merely a matter of time before I have to tear myself away and leap off into the unknown again.

The warmth of sitting side by side in your kitchen baking scones. Endless cups of tea in your living room while our kids enthusiastically create mayhem at our feet. Butter-side up BBQs where the sun always shines and the evenings never end. Sheltering together under my teeny-tiny umbrella on a blustery day and evenings swilling wine and roaring with laughter. It doesn’t matter where we are or what we’re doing, I’m truly grateful for every moment, back here at home with you.

I devour the nitty-gritty of your every day, I soak up every tiny detail, so I can package it away until we speak again. I need pictures in my head, and to know the sum of your days, so I can keep you near when I’m far away.

I smile from cheek to cheek and want this to be the best, happiest time. I’m deliriously happy to see you, but inside my heart is breaking a little. The inevitability of looming goodbyes and a tomorrow when we won’t be together creeping up on me. My chest tightens, my mouth twists up into a knot, and I blink away the tears.

Time is always up too soon; I hug you goodbye as tight as I can until all the air is sucked out of me, never wanting to let go. Then I flee before I’m bawling unabashedly and making a scene. I can’t look back, it hurts too much, so I just keep putting one foot in front of the other biting my lip and trying to be brave.

The farewells seem to linger on for days. It’s the only way I can say goodbye; it’s the only way I know how. Drag it out. Lessen the pain. The more chances I have, the more beautiful memories of you I can stuff into the suitcase of my brain. I don’t want to say goodbye, so I make it so there is one more day for us to meet until eventually there are no more hours left and I leg it to the airport.

Moving away involves loss. Even when the move is born out of a taste for adventure, new beginnings, opportunities and completely of my choosing I still feel it. Whenever you move you leave part of yourself behind. And the losses keep coming - the birthday bashes, the arrival of babies, the sorrow of funerals and the joy of weddings - missed milestones I can’t make because my life is elsewhere.

Often, it’s not the big things but the little things I miss the most. I miss sharing the same city with you; I miss the titbits of news and the tiny, humdrum things going on in your life. I miss the very you-ness of you.

Good friends are hard to find and even harder to say goodbye to. So I won’t say goodbye, I’ll say thank you instead. Thank you for welcoming me back with open arms and for helping me understand our friendship is not about being inseparable but realising that even when you’re separated nothing changes.

Thank you, for giving me so much, for knowing me better than I know myself, and for helping me become someone who is brave. Brave enough to make a choice even though sometimes it hurts and strong enough to follow this continuously unfolding path even when it would be easier to stay.

I love you, and I’ll see you soon. In the meantime, I wish you endless happiness on your journey. You deserve it. We all do. Thank you so much. Really. Thank you. You know who you are.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.