Boxes

The only thing I remember about house-hunting as an 11-year-old is that I might get a bedroom with rainbow pillows.

We were mostly looking at new homes, so they were all perfectly decorated and impeccably neat, which I also liked.

And even now as I look back I can feel my stomach doing flip-flops because the smell of freshly opened boxes means that life is going to change again. It means new friends and new enemies. It means something new outside my bedroom window. It means I won’t know the bus driver and I probably won’t fit in. Years have passed and many boxes opened and closed, but they still make me weepy.

Truth be told, I don’t really like new adventures. I like old, worn, sit on the same spot of the couch with someone you love kind of things. Because even though new is good sometimes, it’s still, well, newer.

As a sidebar I just got a flashback from my first day at a new school in Conneticut. I was in kindergarten and at lunchtime a teacher came out to the cafeteria and announced, “Miss Sandy is here with her sweet treats, kids!!! Come on in!!!”

Well hot DOG. I had a feeling I was going to dig this place. I ran to the back of the sweet treat train and braced myself for goodness.

I watched the kids go through the line and noticed that they only picked up one item each, so I followed suit. I kept trying to catch a glimpse of this Miss Sandy lady because she was single-handedly changing my kindergarten experience and I wanted to tell her I was happy to meet her.

As we got to the end of the line I noticed that the kids were handing something over to a woman who did not look a)sweet b)conscious or c)like the Miss Sandy of my five minute-long daydream.

And as the girl in front of me handed over her wad of cash, it dawned on me.

We had to pay. With real money. Which I didn’t have.

And because I like to be subtle (have you noticed?), I threw my muffin across the divider, turned and ran back to my table while several dozen children giggled and called me names that involved violence and pastries.

My mother gave me a crisp dollar bill the next day for sweet treat time, and I got an ice cream sandwich. It was divine, but it wasn’t any different than the one at the grocery store. It even came in the same wrapper. To this day I don’t know why they made it such a big deal, but it was an unfortunate kick-off to a school year. Later that same year I threw up in front of my entire class. For the record, it had nothing to do with the lunch selection.

Great.

Now I’m really having a hard time focusing because I can smell fresh boxes, ice cream sandwiches, and the smell of barf on velour. This is obviously going nowhere good.

Anyway, I’m not a fan of moving.

So today was a bit of a difficult day. And I really thought I had prepared myself, but I was wrong. I knew it as soon as I walked into the almost-empty house and felt my eyes get hot.

It wasn’t just anyone’s house, but my Audra’s.

And it’s empty because on Monday they are moving to Colorado Springs.

And it’s exciting and wonderful and all of those great things because I know God is faithful and they feel called to go there, but for me it just plain stinks. For those of you who are new to my blog, Audra has been my best friend since I met her in Buffalo almost 16 years ago. We have lived so, so, so much life together and it’s ridiculously hard to think about her not being in the same city as me.

And those stupid boxes did me in today.

It wasn’t the first time I had seen her with boxes. Once, it was because she was packing up to get away from a bad boyfriend. Another time we packed because she was coming to Nashville a year after me to start graduate school with me. There were boxes when she came to live with us, boxes when she got married, and so many others in between.

How do you measure the love of friends who have shared this many boxes?

I don’t know, or else I would have said it when I was stammering for words, crying as I pulled away from her house and watched her little girls run to her. I watched them being born and now I had to watch them carry piles of clothes up the long ramp into the moving truck.

Ugh.

I need to drown myself in sweet treats now.

Please pray for Audra, her family, and for what God has in store for them…and if you are in Colorado Springs and want to meet an amazing girl, I know of some boxes you can help unload.

A


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  • http://teasinglydiverse.blogspot.com Amanda

    Oh wow, as a fellow frequent mover this brought up so many memories. Praying for you and your sweet friend!

  • http://twitter.com/MomGyver7 Daniella Summers

    Modern day, real life Dianna Berry and Anne Shirley. You two will aways be kindred spirits. And thank God we no longer have to rely on horse and buggy as transportation for getting around, right? You’re only a flight away :-) Yes, God has His ways of stretching us.

  • http://twitter.com/lauren926 Lauren Murchison

    Yea Audra! You are going to love it here! Email me if you want to chat when you get to town. :)

    Lauren@chocolatesilverdesigns.com

  • Heart n Soul

    What a beautiful friendship…..the kind that time and distance will never make a difference upon. A lovely heartfelt tribute :)
    http://heartsoulexchange.blogspot.com/

  • http://thepartythatneverquits.blogspot.com Jen

    “It’s all settled as to where my new home shall be.”
    “Oh, Anne, where? I do hope it’s near here.”
    “no-o-o, that’s the drawback. Gilbert is going to settle at Four Winds Harbour – sixty miles from here.”
    “Sixty! It may as well be six hundred,” sighed Diana.

    Praying for you as your Diana moves away. Your friendship is so precious… So priceless… It will cope with this beautifully.

  • http://itwasbroughtonbylove.blogspot.com Southern Gal

    Such a sweet friendship. Such a bittersweet new journey. Praying for you as you adjust to this new part of your life. I love Jen’s quote of the conversation between Anne and Diana. You definitely have a kindred spirit there.

  • Sarah @ Handbags*N*Pigtails

    Change just plain stinks all around but especially when its something like this. Shes been there in the good times and the bad. That cant be said for just anyone. Im praying for you this morning Angie. That your heart will be comforted through this. Have a blessed Mothers Day!
    xo,
    Sarah

  • Jenn

    i’ve been the one left behind several times, and i’ve been the one leaving once. you’ll have a hole in your heart for quite some time. trust the Lord, though (as i know you’ll do); He’ll provide for both your needs. hugs.

  • http://www.dominicandkristin.blogspot.com kasmith03

    Angie
    Wow this post is fitting for me today! Yesterday my husband and I made an offer on our 2nd home in a new state. I am most worried about moving my 14 yr old away from all of his friends…makes my heart hurt. But we too feel God has opened up doors for us to move this way and so we trust He will be with us in the process. But it is weird to be so excited and yet so sad about something at the same time!! Praying for both you and Audra and you explore friendship in a new way!
    Blessings, Kristin

  • Christi

    Sending you hugs and praying for Audra and her family. You’re going to have a great time visiting her in Colorado Springs. Miles will not come between Audra and her family and yours.

  • Kate

    I can understand what you’re going through, I know what it’s like to have your closest friends live states upon states away! One of my best friends lives in Colorado Springs, it is SO beautiful there! You MUST visit!!!!

  • http://profiles.google.com/cajohnson46 Chris Johnson

    Angie, I understand how sad your heart is today…and Audra’s too! To have that special friend is one of God’s biggest blessings! May He continue to nurture your love for each other in many new ways. Tell Audra that if she needs to talk about her new town, I’m just an email away (cajohnson46(at) gmail (dot) com).

  • Sharon

    Angie I’m so for you about Audra’s moving. You have such a rare, beutifulul gift in your friendship with one anotherand I can’t imagine how hard this must be for you. Praying for you! And that picture of the two of you on her wedding day is just so precious!

    Blessings! :)
    Sharon :)

  • http://www.jasperwalls.wordpress.com Melissa Irwin

    Oh gosh….heavy heart. Maybe this means lots of ski trips in your future! :-) (love your new blog look!)

  • Amie

    What a sweet friendship you two have. I may or may not be super teary-eyed at the nurse’s station right now. There is nothing like a great sister-friend.

  • http://www.compassioncan.blogspot.com JD

    That describes the surreal feeling I felt in the fall of 2007 when my best friend moved from the east coast of Canada to the Amish countryside of Ohio. Surprisingly, God brought us closer through the distance, in ways only He can. Praying the same for you and Audra.

  • Meghebs

    I’m so sorry your bestie is moving away! I live in Littleton, CO!

  • Meghebs

    I’m so sorry your bestie is moving away! I live in Littleton, CO!

  • http://profiles.google.com/suzeo99 Susan Gentry

    I moved to be with my best friend shortly after I got married and she had to move away about 5 years later :( So sorry you are going through that. I live in Colorado Springs and am happy to help with pediatricians, churches, school districts, etc or anything else she would be willing to ask a stranger :) sogren@rocketmail.com

  • http://myangelwithgod.blogspot.com/ Amy von Oven

    I am so sorry….I moved from my best friend 3 years ago, and then God brought us back together….I will be praying for you and her…

  • Connie L Amato-Mahle

    Angie,

    First of all, love-love-love the photo opp of you and Audra at her wedding. Beautiful. Such a
    sincere, candid moment.

    How heavy your heart must be. I am not a fan of change either. Praying for you, sweet friend! May your heart and spirit be uplifted!!

    ” A friend is one to whom one may pour out all the contents of one’s heart,
    chaff and grain together, knowing that the gentlest of hands will take and sift
    it, keep what is worth keeping and with a breath of kindness blow the rest
    away.” ~Arabian Proverb~

    Love & Friendship,
    Connie

  • http://profiles.google.com/lakebd Bethany Lake

    Ugh. My heart is breaking in pieces for you right now. I recently had to say goodbye to my very best friend, and it was most definitely one of the hardest things I have ever had to do. There really are no words.

    I’m praying for comfort for your heavy heart, praying for a grand and wonderful adventure for Audra, and praying for fun trips to Colorado to visit her!!! :)

    love and God bless! <3 Bethany

  • http://www.elisvalley-perfectlove.blogspot.com Jennifer

    It makes it worse too when you have survived the loss of a child with a bestie. Sorry for your sadness but excited for Audra and her family!

  • Anonymous

    Oh I’m so sad for you. You have the kind of friendship that can withstand the distance. But that still stinks.
    Happy Mother’s day to the mother of 5 beautiful girls!

  • http://julesmpg.blogspot.com Julesmpg

    Very sweet and moving. Happy Mother’s day.

  • http://reenybean.wordpress.com/ Reen

    As I am once again packing my own boxes, I am so envious of the friendship you have shared with your Audra. I wish I had someone here, in my current city, with me that I shared that with. But I can tell you, I live 3 states away from my dearest friend and while it is extremely hard in our busy lives, making the effort to maintain that relationship is so important!! Thanks for reminding me of that tonight!

  • http://aliciamarysworld.blogspot.com Alicia

    I LOVE that last photo of you and Audra at her wedding! What a picture!

  • http://www.radicaljoy.net Sarah Idiaquez

    Angie, I’m praying for you (Audra too!) during this time. Three years ago I left my best friend ( 7 weeks after her precious son was born) to return to Texas for school. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done and brought lots of tears for both of us! Our friendship has remained strong, but there are still many days when I miss her so much it hurts. Your post brought tears to my eyes. May our Lord give you peace and comfort and carry you through these first days apart.

    Much love from Texas!

    Sarah

  • http://twitter.com/bucknerfamily bucknerfamily

    Oh girl. I was just wondering the other day what had happened when Audra went out to CO to see if it was what they were supposed to do! I am so sorry you are so heart broken. I understand…I am an Army Brat and while saying goodbye was something I became really good at, it never became easy. I will be praying for you!

    paige

  • Lizreeves2

    Oh I’m with you, Angie. I hate goodbyes & hate boxes. It stinks! Praying for Audra’s family as they get settled in their new home.

  • http://itjusttakesonegirl.blogspot.com OneGirl

    One of my favorite pictures in the world. I tear up every time I see it, and it used to make me bawl right after I lost my best friend. The love you have for each other runs so deep, it’s evident in that picture. Can’t be missed.

  • Lynn Worley

    I thought you’d just moved to a new house? Didn’t have any idea you were moving to CO! Not fond of moving myself. Hope it goes well and that you settle in soon! Now if you’d moved to Seattle, I’d be there in a heartbeat to help you unpack!

    Lifting up prayers!

    Romans 5:1-2 Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

    Prayer Bears

    My email address

    • Kim

      Angie isn’t moving… her friend Audra is.

  • Cheri Nace

    You are gonna have some AWESOME vacations in Colorado Springs Angie!! :)

  • Jenn Prather

    I know EXACTLY how you are feeling. My mom moved to CO Springs last year so that my step father could go work for Compassion! Its 20+ hours from me and my little girl and it was heartbreaking. Its not easy, but we mke it work! Praying for you! What will they be doing there??

  • http://theminahanfamily.wordpress.com/ Anna

    Praying for you and Audra… I have been there and I understand the feeling. Wanting to be excited for your friend and their new adventure but inside your heart is breaking. May God bring you peace like only He can.

  • Jen

    Praying for you and you walk another adventure, this time without your sweet friend. I live in her new city and would love to help unload in your honor. Email me
    jenstramecki@yahoo.com
    or PM me on FB and let me know how I can help. HUGS Ang, this can’t be easy on you.

  • http://simplysimonsisters.blogspot.com desiree

    I understand what you are going through. One of the hardest things I ever had to do was move away from the best friends I have. It stinks that were not in the same city, but God keeps us close in different ways.

  • David Burgio

    Hi Angie, longtime reader, first time commenter! Where in Buffalo and why were you guys here? I live in Orchard Park and just was wondering the details!

  • http://www.wearethegoodmans.blogspot.com Rebecca

    this post is really beautiful. and made me cry. i’ve seen my share of boxes, too.

  • Elaine

    I am so sorry that Audra is moving so far away from you. She will love it here in the Springs though. And if you want to relocate, it is a GREAT place to live (hehe). We moved from NC and love it here other than the whole being miles away from family thing. Love your new blog design and if you come to the Springs to visit let us know.

  • Lisa

    I read your blog this morning (I like the new look) when I woke after a bad dream about losing one of my kids. It is a fear I carry, a helpless sense that I cannot completely predict what will happen in life and control all the outcomes. I reread your posts when Audrey died, and then, a few months later, Luke as well. It brought me peace, for some reason. I guess it’s the way you so eloquently express yourself on the subject of loss. Or maybe it was your faith shining through what had to be your darkest season. I just know that those posts about pain and grief, brought comfort to my fearful heart. Like, no matter what happens, another has gone before and shown us the way through the valley of the shadow. I hope the Lord blesses you with a very long life, Ms. Angie. You are a blessing to me, and to so many others.

  • http://profiles.google.com/tiffany.leeanne Tiffany Foster

    I just wanted to let you know that even over many miles our close friends that God has given to us stay close. My “Audra” (Joanna) lives in TX where we both grew up and I have moved progressively farther away over the years of our friendship. She is the sister that God gave me in 5th grade and has been there for me whenever I have needed her. So although this time is hard, as moving always is, remember that through all the distance the bond is still strong.

  • Anonymous

    Cried like a baby reading this! Saying a prayer for your sweet Audra and her family tonight. What a blessing they are about to be to people that don’t even know it yet!

  • Marty Smucker

    I’m new to your blog but can so relate to this post. I helped pack up my only daughter (and her husband) to move 800 miles away. Helped her unpack way out there and get settled. We thought it was forever but the Lord brought them back home again a year later. And also helped my own ‘Audra’ pack up and move 2 states away. But we have been able to maintain BFF status through emails, phone calls and yearly visits. It so is not the same as having our loved ones here with us but it works as a mean second. Keeping you in thought and prayer as you adjust to this change and find a new normal.

  • Penny

    I’m so sad for you this morning. We just moved from our home to another state, leaving behind the only home, and friends, my girls had ever known. I hate it that our hearts can hurt so much. One of my daughters is really struggling with a friend she misses terribly. I comfort her with the thought that she is truly blessed to have a special friend in her life, even if that friend is miles away. Some day our hearts will know only joy. What a blessed day that will be. You are in my thoughts and prayers. Looking forward to Des Moines!

  • April

    Our family just got back from Colorado Springs!! I met a family there at Chick Fila because it was the only family we saw the whole week we were there that bowed their head and give thanks to God and i was so moved to speak with them. I learned from the wife and mommy of three that there are not many Christians in that area!! My six year old told me that maybe she should be a missionary in Colorado…hummm

    Thanks for sharing about Audra..praying for her sweet family now..

    Love

    April

    lyonsden4.blogspot.com

  • Kristin

    Oh, I cried for you when reading this! We’ve moved out-of-state two times in the past two years and it looks as if my husband’s line of work will simply keep us on the move, within the U.S. and out. We homeschool our kids so that helps with the transition a bit, but it’s hard to keep saying good-bye… ~K

  • Kristin

    Oh, I cried for you when reading this! We’ve moved out-of-state two times in the past two years and it looks as if my husband’s line of work will simply keep us on the move, within the U.S. and out. We homeschool our kids so that helps with the transition a bit, but it’s hard to keep saying good-bye… ~K

  • Agregor1

    Five years ago I bawled my eyes out saying goodbye to my best friend (who was leaving for the University of Dayton!). That only prepared us for her recent move into the Peace Corps and a long distance between us. Thinking of you!

  • Anonymous

    I absolutely love the pictures of the two of you. They say it all.

  • http://www.holmanhouseholdhappenings.blogspot.com aholman

    It’s so hard when someone you love moves far away…

    Thank goodness for modern technology – especially Skype!!! :)

  • Jenny

    I’m so sorry – I know how hard it is when one you love so much moves so far away. But….living in Colorado Springs myself, this is a WONDERFUL place to live…..and as one other person commented, you will have FABULOUS vacations here! :) What brings them to Colorado Springs?

  • Shannon

    Not sure I have ever posted…but have been reading for years. Just wanted to share with you that in January, my family picked up and moved from what felt like home – with my best friend right around the corner – to Littleton, CO (about an hour from CO Springs). It has been hard on both sides…BUT I am driving the airpor the airport Friday morning to pick her up for her first visit! Definitely doesn’t make up for the coffee nights, playdates and sitting on each others kitchen floors crying when we need to, but she is still my best friend and we are trying to make the best of it! Best to you both!

  • Anonymous

    Ang…I remember when you left Buffalo and moved to Nashville. We were 21 and 22 years old and I only knew you for 2 years. It was so hard for me. My B/F/F lives in Charlotte and has been gone as well since the same year you left. It will get easier with time and thank goodness for free long distance on cell phones :) -Amy

  • http://moxiemandie.com moxiemandie

    I’m so sorry….I’m praying for you both.

  • http://www.homeownerinsurancequoter.com Homeowner Insurance

    I love the pictures of you two. I’m praying for you.

  • Molly Huggins

     This ministers me to me so much tonight! I am in the processing of moving with my Active duty soldier husband and two kiddos (one brand new) from Alaska to Kansas. We are in between locations on vacation and I am still trying to pretend like I am going back. Didn’t work today-very sad. (Being military and involved in the current deployment cycles means we pack some pretty intense experiences into a short window – 4 years in this case) So, I am on my knees with gratitude for God’s grace and lovingkindess for my family, of which we have had by the bucketload, but some days my selfish heart just grieves. Anyway, thanks-I have been meaning to email you with my story-you play a significant part in helping me cope with some of the last few years, although my loss was temporary, and Lord willing I will get around to it on this vacation. 

    • http://thepfizenmaiertales.blogspot.com Arianne

      Molly~Kansas is good!  If you happen to be going to Ft. Riley I live only 45 minutes away!  Would love to make you feel at home!  :)

       

  • cc

    I am SO familiar with this feeling! I was once a very young military wife (17 when I was married-I know…too you…lessons learned). I moved half way across the country from my family to start my second semester in my senior year at a new school with people who had gone to school together their entire lives. I went from a seniour class of 300 to a senior class of 1000. My new husband had to leave me to go out to sea just a few days after we arrived. I was SO alone! Then I met a wonder wonderful friend straight from God. We were glued together while our husbands were underway. I helped her with her children, she helepedm e mature. I remember very vividly the feeling watching her move boxes into the truck as they were transfered off. I experienced it several times since then with some wonderful God sent friends. It was one of the saddest days of my life. So, I undersnd, empathize, and am praying. It’s a bitter sweet moment. Thankfully God allows our love to tanscend distance. And you can have great fun with sending each other packages and other fun traditions. Many blessings for them as they travel and for you guys as your hearts grown bigger for the distance between you.

  • Kaye

     I will be praying for both of you.  What an amazing friendship you two have been blessed with; each other:)
    Have a blessed day,
    Kaye
    Matthew 21:22

  • http://gritsgirl722.blogspot.com Wendy

    You know you are a great writer when you make me laugh and cry in just a few sentences. So sorry that your friend is moving away from you!

  • Dee

    i wish you were my best friend.