I cry every time she arrives, and I cry every time she leaves. Because each time I see her, I feel a little more like myself, and each time she leaves, I feel like a big piece of my heart drives away in her car.
Because one of my very dearest friends lives far away. And it’s just hard.
We can’t just hop in the car and meet for coffee.
We don’t make weekly shopping runs to Target when we both need to get out of the house, and I can’t run her over a plate of cookies when she has had a bad day.
I can’t show up on her front porch when I’ve gotten bad news or sit on her couch in tears when life gets hard. And she can’t drop by unannounced because she has something exciting that she can’t wait to tell me.
We can’t do everyday life together. And it kind of breaks my heart and I’ll always wonder what life would be like if we could live closer.
But you know what we can do?
We can FaceTime like the bosses we are. Even while we are feeding babies, folding clothes, changing diapers.
We can send each other cards and flowers, and when we do get to see each other, we usually show up with gifts and chocolate.
I can still call her and hear her reassuring voice, and she can call me when life gets hard. We give each other knowing looks over FaceTime, and they still translate when we are in person.
Because even in friendship, absence makes the heart grow fonder, and the time together sweeter.
When we do get together, our hugs are long and precious. We don’t take for granted being able to look one another in the eyes and really listen. We laugh more in the few hours or days that we have than we do with anyone else, and the knowing of each other’s hearts is so evident, even though we have our differences. We brag about our husbands and giggle (and cry) about our kids and we STILL share life together like no time has passed.
Which is why it makes her driving away just hard. But friendship . . . good, long distance friendship is hard, but so worth it. Yes, every time she leaves, she takes away a piece of my heart. But she always brings it back the next time I see her.
Originally published on From Blacktop to Dirt Road.