Sunday, April 01, 2007

Best friend moving: no April Fools

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.


egregious said...

Tell me about your best friend.

Anonymous said...

Hang in there, egregious! Later in life is no time to lose a friend, but that's when it happens the most. I'm glad that she'll be close enough to visit. How about the train? It might be less stressful than flying these days.

NZ Expat said...

egregious.....insulting? boring? Someone is having a problem of his own. Drive by emotional mudslinging. Hope the mud washes off okay.

I'm off in two days and still packing and moving. I'll be leaving a great group of new friends that I taught with here. They had a big Kiwi bash for me last night. Funny, when I left where I lived for 17 years and there was no farewell. Must have worn out my welcome.

Internet has soothed me through many absences, but it aint' the same is it?

newspaperbrat said...

#3 anonymous - you give anonymous a truly bad name. egregious is a national treasure and clearly you haven't a clue about this exceptional individual who gives new meaning to creative leadership, accomlishment, vision, innovation, and problem solving and leading by doing. You're far afield from emotional intelligence and an insufferable bully. What on earth do you expect to accomplish by such unvarnished vitriol and invincible ignorance so kindly just STFU and keep your promise to "never click through" egregous "again." Allow me to thank you in advance.

Anonymous said...

a chord on the old heartstrings, yah. and, distant friends are still friends, yah.

thanks for the reminder.


egregious said...

Thanks dear friends! I hope it's clear that I deleted the person who was giving insults, and have only love for the remaining "anon" commenters.

Thank you for your support and encouragement, it means so much.

Love and cookies,

Alicia Morgan said...

egregious - I found your blog through FDL and am always inspired by your comments. I just wanted to stop by your 'home base' and wish you well, rather than in FDL comments. I have ADD and live with depression (I won't say 'suffer from', as it's manageable with medication) , and my husband has OCD, so I definitely feel for you and with you.

I live in California, and moved out here from Florida with my best friend 20 years ago. We just decided one day to sell everything we had and move to LA sight-unseen (ADD much?). We had the yard sale to end all yard sales and packed up my CRX with some clothes, a tent and her little Sheltie, and took a month to drive across the country and 'see the sights'.

We lived out here a year when she decided she needed to go back to Florida. Her boyfriend at the time was going back, and her being legally blind made it difficult to get around such a large, unfamiliar city. I was devastated. If she could have stayed, she wold have been incredibly successful, as she is a phenomenal singer, but she had her little 'niche' carved out in Florida, with her circle of people who could help her in her daily life. So I understood why she had to go, but it was a blow nevertheless. I ended up meeting my husband, starting a family and putting down roots here, but it was a struggle for some time.

She's one of those people who is a real 'soul mate' in the friendship way - I knew we were going to be best friends right away when we met. Her band and my band had been double-booked at the same club and in meeting each other in passing, we just clicked. She's really smart and really funny and spiritual and good-hearted. I ended up joining her band, and that was the start of a 25 year friendship - most of it (20 years) as cross-country friends.

I still keep up with her, and I miss her as much as I did when she first went back to Florida. But I treasure our friendship, which has not changes in essence in 25 years, and I expect will go on as long as we do.

Well, that's my best friend story. It sucks to not be able to have your friend around, but a best friend is a treasure, and we're both lucky that we have that kind of friends. And it says a lot about you that you have a friend like that.

egregious said...

egrDau reminds me that Love Live, Truth, and Beauty began in a conversation five years ago we had about how one's faith, and one's expression of faith, can change drastically over time. More recently I developed it as the meaning of life, condensed version. It looks so fine underneath that lovely dog, yes?

egregious said...


Love Life, Truth, and Beauty.

proudprogressive said...

Hmm egregious, it sure is sad, the change and the farewells. Keep the faith, and use that phone. No its not the same, but a picture , a card. The bonds of the heart our true soul friends can transcend the demensions of time and space. In my life its knowing that they are out there. Funny too with a solid sould friend my abadonment stuff never kicks up. I am thinking of one in particular. She has been that person that i knew loved me always even in the most isolated and alienated moments. My confidence in that unconditional understanding and support kept me afloat in dark times over the decades. Nowadays my life is filled with other folks friends near and far..Still her place in my cosmos is the brightest. Hope you can find the strength you need to go through this transition.
peace to you, PP

Bob Schacht said...

Interesting about your occupation--
I was one of the first non-infants to get congenital heart surgery at Mayo Clinic in 1956(!) at the age of 12 (to relieve congenital aortic stenosis due to Rubella).

Are your daughters still in Hawaii? That's where I live now. I've been reading your posts over at FireDogLake for a few months, and was intrigued tonight at your comment #155 on the late night thread.

BobSchacht AT infomagic DOT com

egregious said...

Hey Bob---

Great to hear from you. In 1956 that was still quite the experimental operation in a child. Happy to hear you did well.

The egrDaughters are in other far flung places, one in CA and one teaching school in the DR. Sigh. They do grow up.

Jessica said...

Egregious, I really loved your post. is very disheartening when your best friend moves away from you to a different city or a country. You feel a vacancy which is irreparable and you cannot do without your friend.This friend of yours has stood by you in thick and thin and is now moving to a different city altogether. You can definitely call her up at least once in a month, and email her quite often. In this way, you can at least keep your friendship alive and fresh!