Stunned to learn that my best friend for many years will be moving to Chicago within the year. Excuse me, but no. It might very well be what is best for her and her family, but it is breaking my heart.
This friend has worked with me from the beginning 11 years ago to support our Russian children's hospital work. When I was considering who I wanted on my new board of directors, she was the first one. She has helped in myriad ways and has come over weekly to help support our work.
Support takes a variety of forms. In theory it is envelope stuffing, however the deeper work is listening to the president rant about the ridiculous, unfair, and evil obstacles to our work in Russia. She has endured a great many of these rants over the course of my thirty trips to St. Petersburg. How shall I prepare for future trips without this feedback?
We met thru our daughters' music and bonded over their teenage difficulties. We found out rather late in the game that both of us are amateur genealogists, active in her case and rather lapsed in my case after writing up 150 pages when the girls were little.
They moved to Hawai'i just at the time when things were becoming chaotic and intense with our work, when we were building a new ICU and planning a new operating room suite. I didn't realize how much I had depended on her for home baked goods and other symbolic forms of pre-trip support until she was away for two years. Hope the military appreciates what I gave up in the interim.
Now it seems I must prepare to lose her to the wider world again. There had better be planes between Washington and Chicago, that's all I can say. Email is good, phone calls are good, but there is nothing quite like the raised eyebrow in support of one's latest rant to feel that things will be all right, because my friend understands.