My life in Battle Creek was sweet and deep for so many different reasons, the main one being relationships. Never before in my life had I had so many people that I loved in one place. Leaving wasn’t like ripping one piece of my heart out but like ripping forty pieces. Sharp and jagged the pain of those empty spaces was scary and consuming when we first got here.
One of those relationships was with my friend Bethany. A writer, a fellow at my church, and one of those people who get you. Her sweet, quiet friendship infused my life and made it better. There was something about her, the first time I met her, I just knew we were meant to be friends.
She came out here to visit for Thanksgiving. It was wonderful. The day before she came felt like Christmas I couldn’t stop smiling. It was like nothing had changed. Like the four months since I’d seen her last evaporated into thin air. We explored the tunnels under Seattle, went to see the otters, and visited the sound. She almost didn’t get to see our mountains it was so gloomy, but on her last day they came out.
This is going to sound silly but one of the things Bethany and I have always done together is watch what I like to call “nerdy tv” Firefly, Doctor Who, Doll House, Jessica Jones, every Sunday night after the kids were in bed we’d eat brownies or popcorn and watch action-y goodness. Relish in the story of it all. When my sister was here in August she got me addicted to a new-to-me television show that was right up my and Bethany’s alley. So every night for a week Bethany and I curled up on the couch, the dog between us, and watched Sam and Dean Winchester criss cross the country killing monsters.
Saying goodbye on our last night was so strange. At first it felt like I was saying “see you next week.” Like I had for years. But then I realized that I didn’t know when I’d be seeing her again, and while I’m sure it will be just as wonderful then, the not knowing was so hard.
When Heather left in August I was sad but I was also lonely-scared. If you’ve ever been the new kid in a school cafeteria you’ll know the feeling. This time when Bethany left there was no fear, just an achy sadness. A feeling that I shouldn’t be apart from the people I love. It’s not as sharp a pain as it was before, God has been so gracious to me and there are already people in my life here in Washington who’s love makes this place home. And that brings me to this strange realization, that some friendships are for all times. That there will always be an ache when we’re not together because together is where we should be. And those people aren’t just in Michigan now, they’re here too. And while the ache for my Michigan people is always present, it’s a beautiful thing to know that those relationships won’t disappear, that the next time Bethany comes to see me we’ll sit down and watch nerdy tv just like no time at all has passed.