They say change is good... it can even build character. I say it hurts. It hurts to the core some times. Yes, I know change isn't a bad thing, but you can't convince me of that at this moment.
I'm a guarded person. I was bullied in high school and hurt by my best friends and family. It takes me a long while to open up and let people in my private world. It's not to say I don't have friends, I just won't let them too close to my heart. Usually.
We moved into our present home in 2003 and it took us several years to become good friends with our neighbors. We waved and chatted but it hasn't been until the last several years when we became close. We looked out for them and they helped us out. They are good people and the kind that would give you the shirt off their back and their last $5.00 if you needed it.
But it was more than that. It was looking out our dining room window and knowing that they were home by the lights on. It was joining them on their front deck on a sunny day for a glass of wine. It was eating leftovers with them or providing the plates and ice for dinner parties. It was talking politics, listening to jokes, sharing our lives.
It's been said our friends required a lot of maintenance, but it was a good kind of maintenance. We took their trash out when they were out of town, watered their plants, and raked their leaves when they piled up. We were their go to people when they needed eggs or flour or a baking sheet or a number of items. They knew they could count on us and we knew they would be there for us.
But now they're leaving Juneau. Moving somewhere sunny and warm. Part of me envies them, to just pack up and leave. They're no spring chicks after all! But their family is all down south and I know that even the best of friends can't replace family.
This week has been incredibly hard for me. As I sit here and look out the window across the street to their home, now vacated, I choke up and sob. When the movers came, I bawled. Thinking how it must have felt driving out of their driveway for the last time made me bawl some more. The tears have not been very kind to me the last few days.
Part of me wants to scream DON'T GO! And the other part of me says, "go quickly and have a safe journey."
I know we'll see them again but it won't be the same. New neighbors have already moved in, but it's not the same. We will never have the same relationship that we do with our good friends and for that I'm sorry. But this is just one more reason why it'll take even longer next time to let someone into my heart. Because here in Juneau, they always leave.
I don't like this feeling of sadness, of an empty heart. I'm not so very appreciative of this type of change. It hurts. It hurts a lot. I'm told life goes on. Yes, yes, it does. And we will forever remain friends with Mal and Jean. It just won't be the same and that saddens me.