Just when I think I'm all set and ready to move on to a new place, I find some reminder of why leaving will be so incredibly sad and difficult. This time around has, by far, been the most poignant of all.
I'm leaving behind my friends.
And I mean, I'm leaving behind my very good friends. My ladies. The women on whom I've come to rely for so much over the last two years of my life... My support group and in large part, my strength as a woman, mother, and wife. And this post is for them. For Amber, Bobbi, Kelly, Jenny... Even for those I don't "hang out with" on a regular basis like Misty and Sunshine and Fara. It's even for the women whose names I don't know but with whom I chatted for hours at the playground or took walks with or called with phone tree messages. We all have this crazy common bond - be it motherhood or our lives as Navy wives or just as women - and I never in my life knew how valuable that is until I came here, to King's Bay.
I had friends before. I even had a best friend in high school that I called "Sis". But I never really understood how powerful a tool a friendship can be. I've never found my life to be so enriched by my relationships with other women. But those people I mentioned earlier have changed all of that. I love them and I am so incredibly sad to be moving away. I know I won't be far and there are phones and the magic of the Internet, but I will forever miss the opportunity to spend a warm November afternoon at a playground with my friends and our kids, listening to their happy banter and chatting about all the things that make us who we are - laughing because we've all been "there" and we all understand one another and being comfortable with ourselves because we have so many unspoken things in common. And even as we silently acknowledge those similarities, each of us appreciates everyone else's individuality and those different elements are what weave together to make a group stronger. It's truly remarkable.
I don't know what I would have done without Amber. She has been an inspiration and a comic relief. I love her like a sister and I love her son like a nephew. Even her husband isn't bad. She's truly amazing and one of the strongest people I know. You might love borders, Choke Me, but I love you.
Bobbi, you've been my friend through thick and thin and even when we didn't have others to turn to, we had us - chicken spaghetti and Law and Order and taboo talk of pornos. Your company has been a life saver through some of the loneliest times in my life. I am so happy to see how far you've come and to see your little girl grow up into such a joy. I'm so proud of you and your family.
I haven't known you as long, Kelly, and I am truly sorry about that. I'm so glad we've become friends and shared as many laughs as we have. Your outlook on life is so refreshing and so much fun and yet so wise. You're an incredible person, and I only hope that one day I can be half the mom you are. I have lots to learn from you.
I don't even know where to begin to explain how awesome Jenny is. She went to welding school. She is an absolute rock star. She's been through so many patrols and hasn't blown up a boat that I think she's something of a loon. I can count on her for anything - a smile, a favor, a conversation... She's such a beautiful person and so giving and so honest. I have a lot to live up to if I want to be the kind of woman Jenny is. She's always been there for me and I just hope I can return that favor someday.
I could go on and on and on about the awesomeness of my friends. I really could. I could get even sappier and seem even more like a lezzie stalker. But I'll leave it here and say that I am so so so fortunate that I've had the chance to make these relationships and I pray every day that I can keep them.
And, oh, one final point: I have to say, thank you, Katie McGrath, for being such a gigantic bitch that I realized being friends with you was a waste so I could devote that much more time to the real people in my life. Had you not been the horrible person you were, I might have missed out on some of the best memories I've ever had the privilege to be a part of.
Here's to the ladies that make my life good...
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