To my many beautiful friends I have met along the way:
You know who you are. We held tight to one another through a season.
You were my neighbor, we sat next to each other in church, we played games on the lonely days, and we grew alongside each other.
We helped each other. We kept each other busy on the long nights, weeks, and months we were apart from our husbands and families. We shared Thanksgivings, Easters, Valentine’s Days, anniversaries, birthdays; you name it – we’ve shared it all.
You were my family.
I held your baby before your mom and sometimes even before your husband. I took you to the hospital when you were sick. You sat beside me when I found out my grandma passed away. You brought me Ben and Jerry’s when I had a bad day.
You carried me through.
This life. This Army life is so hard, yet so good because I have you.
And then I move – or you move.
Our hearts break bit by bit as we help each other clean for that final house inspection. Tears stream down our faces as we say our goodbyes. We have every intention of continuing to care and invest in each other just the way we did before.
But then we make a new family. We find new running buddies and neighbors.
And while that makes me ridiculously happy and thankful, it makes my heart break and my conscience grow with guilt.
I do my best to stay in touch by calling, texting, commenting, and visiting. And so do you.
I receive your Christmas card every year, and it’s the best gift I get by far.
I see your Instagram pictures, and I feel like I’m in a room with you.
But it’s not the same; you know it as well as I do.
So, dear friend – hold our memories in your heart and love that next friend the way you loved me. Because you carried me through.
Your forever friend,