About 5.5 years ago now Adam and I made the move from Michigan to Iowa but let me tell you how it started. Out of college I got a job in the northern suburbs of Chicago and I was driving 1.5 hours to work and living with my mom. Adam graduated 6 months after me and got a job in the south western suburbs. He then got a call for a job at Stryker, a medical device company, in Michigan and not only was the cost of living cheaper but they were offering more money and better benefits. So we got married and moved. I have to say I was completely excited about this new journey. At first I didn’t like Michigan but grew to love it. We lived there for 8 years and then I had started having panic attacks at work. Through a series of events and decisions, that I will have to save for another post, I decided to stay at home and finished out the school year. Well, then Adam decided that maybe we should move back near his family and so we started that ball rolling. Our house was on the market for almost a year. Adam was driving back and forth between Michigan and Iowa and would be gone a week at a time. So I decided in January 2011 that I would be done in June. April Adam changed jobs. November I got pregnant with Kayla and finally in February 2012 I was struggling to have Adam gone all the time and pregnant and caring for our kiddos! So we moved into an apartment here in the Quad Cities and 3 weeks later we had an offer on our Michigan home. The crazy part was we decided to move a week before we actually did. We found an apartment and BOOM we were gone!
I remember thinking how in the world are we going to say goodbye to everyone. I don’t have time to see everyone. Well, my sweet friend, who was also my neighbor, invited us over for dinner on our last night and after dinner the doorbell rang and her house began to flood with people. She had invited everyone to her house to say goodbye! It was very sweet and VERY hard.
Why do I share this with you? Because now we have lived in the Quad Cities for about 5 years and this year has been an interesting one. I’ve made a couple good friends and a few more I was just getting to know and they are all moving! I’m sort of tired of saying goodbye. So here is the rundown:
4 friends have moved for husbands jobs (2 this month)
1 left to go to the mission field
Another in slated to leave in the coming month for her husbands job in Europe for 3-5 years.
2 more have told me they will be moving in the next 1-2 years.
I know I still have friends here. I also know that I can do long distance relationships! I have two great friends from college who I get together with 1-2 times a year and it’s like no time has passed. One of those friends I talk on the phone with at least once a week and usually more. We just got done visiting friends in Michigan and one of those families comes here a couple times a year. These friends are ones that have come to my parents funerals, who sent cards when my parents passed away, and who check in on me. So I know it’s possible but at the same time it is difficult. I haven’t had a chance here to develop some of those deep relationships yet but they are coming.
One point I want to make about all of this is that sometimes people come into our lives for a season. Sometime they come in forever and sometimes it’s a mix. Each friendship and interaction is meaningful and adds to our life in some way. Even if people come and go.
What advice do you have for making friends, staying in touch with friends or for saying goodbye? Or simply share a story of a time when you left or a good friend left and how you coped.