Last fall, two weeks before the first snowfall, Cathy's friend Jake was still alive. This spring, when the lilacs were budding, Tyler was alive, and Nathan died the week my tulips bloomed. Those deaths rocked our small town, made people mindful of everything: the passage of time, the struggles of being teenagers, and the beauty those boys would not live to see.
This year, my daughters lost friends and classmates for the first time in their lives in a terribly cruel and permanent way. I lost people, too, but in more adult and expected ways. The snow was melting and we avoided the soft mud when Adam, John Hudson and I helped Abbi and her John load the U Haul and move away. Abbi, Gabe, Leah, Brandon, and Justin all left my work, replaced by Jennifer, Callista, Emily, Elizabeth and Cassie.
A few weeks ago, my friend Jodie referenced a quote about people coming into our lives at different times, sometimes only for a season, but always for a reason. Today, Laura referenced that quote when we three were having lunch and I was reminded how beautiful a sentiment it is, and how accepting loss is part of life. People come into your life, people leave it. A few remain, and I was reminded of that today, too, when talking Darren's ear off; he is one of my oldest friends and my only guy friend to know me through all my adult relationships. Sometimes, we have no control over who leaves our lives, and if it's sooner than we wish, it can hurt terribly. Sometimes, we stay connected by love when proximity ends; Gabe is coming home this fall to visit and I see Abbi as often as I can. And, sometimes... Sometimes, we just have to let people go. Love can die, just like anything else. There are seasons to love, too. Finding the reason is sometimes harder.
But, for those uncomplicated loves in my life, the friendships that sustain me, thank you. Darren, Becky, Laura and Jodie, and all my friends (is it a bad thing that there are too many to list?) you are amazing, wonderful people and I am so lucky to have you in my life. I know you aren't going anywhere.