"Friendship is like standing on wet cement.
The longer you stay, the harder it's to leave,
and you can never go
without leaving your footprints behind."
Yesterday, one of my dearest and closet friends, whom I call EJ, moved 468 miles away. I had known the day would be coming for well over 4 months, yet I still was not prepared to say goodbye.
I pulled in her driveway at 6:15am, and sat a couple of minutes...thinking of oh-so-many memories we had made together.
The first memory I have of EJ goes back to when we were four years old and I would go to her house and have play dates. I don't remember what exactly we would do, but I do recall anticipating those days.
Fast forward through the years to 4th grade, and there you would find us sitting in the back row of class where we could get away with it all! ;)
In 5th and 6th grade, we began to realize that all boys did not have germs, and thus started all those pointless crushes. It was also this time, that after school, we would make a mad dash to the bathroom where we would flush those unwanted sandwiches down the toilet... yes, don't worry we've already confessed that one to our mothers!
Junior High brought our silly infatuation with Winnie the Pooh paraphernalia and our fun get togethers at Lady and the Stamp where we would make cards and bookmarks. It was also this time that I "introduced" her to my best friend, Tab, and she "introduced" me to hers, Theresa. We become known as the "foursome" and became quite the motley crew.
When we got to highschool, we thought we had arrived. Gone was the Pooh stuff, now we were wearing makeup and into shopping. I remember one day walking Chesterton (which really doesn't take that long), eating a kid's meal at Dairy Queen and finding great deals at the new resale shop in town! Not only did we have so much fun together, but we also got in trouble together. I recall an incident in 10th grade where we wrote a note on the chalkboard for the Sunday School teacher who wasn't too happy with the way we were cleaning the room on Fridays. Let's just say that our little note was not very respectful and quite a bit mouthy, but we didn't fear because we signed the note, not with our names, but with the whole Sophomore class!
Before we knew it we had passed Sweet 16 and were approaching 18...what did this mean? We were getting Senior pictures, planning open houses and a senior trip, and dreading college. Graduation came and went, it was everything we had ever dreamed of, plus more.
College orientation came and the foursome still stuck together, both scared and excited. Our freshman year we were able to take several classes together. I remember countless days skipping lunch and going up to the library where we would pour over Old Testament Survey notes in hopes of passing Doc's quizzes and tests.
Sophomore year came all too quickly and no longer were we "fresh meat", we had a whole year under our belt and knew exactly what we were doing! I was dating seriously and our friendship wasn't as strong as it once had been. However the summer before our junior year, there was a heartbreak, and who was there? My friends. I remember in particular receiving the sweetest letter from EJ, she always has had such a way with words...
Our junior year came and went, once again, way too quickly. We made many memories however, whether at Christmas Lights, the fall hayride, or Turkey run. When summer came, we couldn't believe that our senior year was already upon us. We came to teacher orientation so excited about student teaching and taking some final credits. While student teaching we listened to each other's woes, whether it be my 9th grade boys who wanted to be doing anything rather than typing, or her 1st and 2nd graders who insisted on asking pointless questions. At the end of our student teaching, we both did come to the conclusion that teaching is so very rewarding. We realized that when it came down to our last day of teaching we were so sad to leave; for not only had we been able to affect them, they had also made an impression on us.
In March, when EJ told me of her job offer (teaching 1st grade in Missouri), I was so excited for her. When she accepted, I tried not to think about her actually leaving.
Once college graduation was over, we realized that the months were passing very quickly and before we knew it she would be moving. So...we held a pow wow at my house along with Tab and Liz. We planned a weekly outing, something to do together and make our last summer together memorable.
This summer has went fast, but whether getting pedicures, beading, setting up a blog, eating at Dairy Queen (several times), using up her snack shop bucks after church, or having a crazy good time in Orland Park on our last hurrah, we have made more memories.
Amazingly I managed not to break down when I had to say the final goodbye and give her one last hug. It will be several months before we see each other again, but I know that despite the long distance we will remain friends forever, for "The most beautiful discovery true friends make is that they can grow separately with out growing apart."