I learned yesterday that a friend at church will be moving to another town in a few weeks.
"But you didn't ask MY permission," I scolded her.
We become comfortable with our friends. We know where to reach them by telephone or computer, we know where they sit in church and we know what to expect from them in daily life.
Then, when they say they are moving, it upsets our comfort zone. All of a sudden they are not so ... so.... well, so predictable.
I can't blame my friend for moving. She wants to be closer to her children and grandchildren. That's one of the best reasons for choosing to move.
On a selfish note, however, I can't help but feel just a little bit abandoned.
I haven't moved around very much in my lifetime. I live about 140 miles from where I spent the first 47 years of my life. I've lived in North Platte for 22 years. So it just figures out that I have had more friends moving away from me than I have left behind.
Given that, you would think I would get used to having friends move on. I never do. I still remember Erma, the young friend from junior high who took me trick or treating my first Halloween I lived in town. I remember my girlfriend from junior high through high school who was married the Christmas after we graduated from high school and she moved to the East Coast. A dear friend while our children were young moved with her family to a town 150 miles away. With everyone's busy schedules, it might as well have been a thousand miles away.
Over the years the list has grown, as have my memories. I still sometimes long for those days with my friends.
But, life goes on. My friend will make new friends, as will I.
Yet, one of the spokes in the wheel of life will be missing. More may be added, but never replaced.