Dana was my best friend and she lived only half a mile away. My family didn't have friends over for birthday parties often, but Dana came to my birthday every year--she was the exception to the "family only" rule. Our parents were close friends and our brothers were close friends. We were in the same classes at school and church. Our semi-rural home made for adventurous days that we tried to stretch out forever.
When we had just finished second grade, Dana told me that their family would be moving. They were going from the far north (Washington State) to the far south (Arizona). I would probably never see her again.
We cried and put into action the drama that we were feeling inside. I'm sure our parents hid a lot of grins, all the while understanding that we were hurting and were trying to figure out how to express the ache accurately. Dana and I vowed to spend her last day together. We did--the whole day spent playing outside. That night, I walked her down our gravel road one last time. My walk home was so lonely. What would I do now?
Of course, I survived that pint-sized heart break, but I've never forgotten Dana or my feelings that day.
My son just found out that his best buddy is moving. All through the day I kept catching him staring blankly at nothing. When I addressed him, he looked at me with sadness in his ten year old eyes and said, "What am I going to do without [my friend]?"
This is just the first of many moves that will separate him from his friends, but it will likely be the most poignant and the most memorable. And, who knows? They may be pen pals (or Skype pals??) forever.