It happens time and time again. This is not the first time, and it won't be the last. And yet it doesn't get easier. I try to ignore it, to distract myself, get on with the trillion things lined up in my head. Yet in the end it gets me as much as I try to ban it from my thoughts.
This week, very good friends of ours will be saying goodbye to Glasgow. It's a reality of our global apple of a world, where we move backwards and forwards so easily. People move. They make friends in their new found home towns. And then, suddenly, without much warning, they move on. There is choice, a sense of guilt, yet no blame, above all a lot of sadness. In the past, it was usually me who was spreading her wings and enjoying the ride. Back then I didn't spend much thought on those I left behind, we all travelled a lot, slept on the floors of each others bedsits. Then I settled, abroad, away from family and some of my bestest friends and as much as I like my new life, I will forever miss those I left behind, who by now had also settled with visits becoming a rare event. And really, the friends that will be with you all your life are made during your formative years.
Then sometimes, ever more rarely, you make new friends closer to where you are, to the place that you and someone else have ended up building their lives in. You share another formative time in your life, out of the blue, when you both come home from a holiday at your old home with a tiny growing person that throws you into a hormonal rollercoaster of pregnancy and motherhood. Due dates only 4 days apart, almost as many doors between the tenement flats you both live in. Jobs shared, motherhood shared, husbands who enjoy each others company as much as their wives enjoy theirs. toddlers who describe each others as best friends and play together in the outdoor nursery. And now I'm left to explain to Cubling that from next week, her best friend won't be there anymore. "No!!!" she says in disbelief. Yes, I answer softly. She will, of course, accept more easily than I do.
And I hope that in spite of the distance our families won't grow apart, that we can somehow bridge the distance. I'm not very successful at that, too often in the past I've missed good friends too much as to seek regular contact, because those phone calls, emails, skypes always carry a sense of what's lost, a longing and sadness that I far too often choose to keep at bay through silence.