Friday, November 7, 2014


Once a week blogging is not ideal. Too many words. More than my normal too many I mean, but I'm diving in here today because I can.

I'm home. And the bride-to-be is here with her mama, which means all is as it should be. I'm going to back up to Monday because y'all know I'm not one for a simple 'got a lot done this week' kind of recap.  Details are my love language.  

One of them anyway.  

I got to Daughter1's townhouse around lunchtime on Monday and I'm trying to remember what we did? Oh yeah-we packed. My girl had done a great job of getting nearly everything bubbled, peanut-ed, wrapped and boxed, but there were the last minute things as there always are in a move. It was a long day, and suffice it to say I fell asleep in the clothes I'd been wearing all day, and at one point my daughter turned on the light to be sure I was breathing. I know!

The word 'tired' does not begin to describe my exhaustion. Keep in mind I'd been up since 5 AM, had gone to boot camp, driven five hours in traffic, spent the day packing, watched my daughter spin and smile and grow up in front of my very eyes in her wedding gown and veil as she had a final fitting, then capped it all off with a lovely dinner out with her roommates.

And then there was all that e-mo-tion. 
Girls. Friends. Roommates. Tears. 

Throughout the day and evening and into the next day, there would be tears, and all the adrenaline combined with all the feels sends one into the twilight zone of tired.

Last week when I was talking to my daughter on the phone she mentioned that it was finally hitting her...all she was leaving behind. Don't misunderstand-she is positively giddy at the life that is in front of her, but that doesn't mean she won't miss her people, and her roommates are her people.  

Her words pricked my heart in a deep place. I understand this feeling on a level many people cannot. As my daughter said the words I felt that too familiar ache that comes with change. I know in my gut and in my soul what it is to leave people you love behind. In our married life we've moved eight times, which in looking back feels like a lot. But here's the thing...wherever we are we're there. We're all in kind of folks and when we settle in a new spot we open our hearts wide. We make friends, join, invite people into our home and make ourselves comfortable in theirs. 

There's a price to pay for being all in kind of people who never stay in one place very long, and that price is always the slow hard goodbyes. We think its a price worth paying, because these friends, neighbors, co-workers, family, and kindred spirits we've collected in city after city have blessed us beyond measure.  They've made our lives fuller and happier and richer.  

So you go and they stay and you survive. Your heart shifts and while it cements the old familiar into a corner or a nook or a big ole expanse, it also makes room for newcomers, add-ons, people you haven't yet met who you will one day feel you've known forever.  I'm in a Beth Moore Bible Study right now, and she talks about how sometimes God does a 're-mix' of the people in our lives, for His purposes and for our good. I know the truth of that.

I reassure my daughter these friends from this season of life will always be some of the most precious. You grew each other up. You were young together. You've been your authentic selves with one another in a way we rarely are again at any other age. As we grow older, and particularly once we marry, we want to keep some of the sharing for our spouse only and that's appropriate. We don't always want newer acquaintances to see our every little fault laid bare. To know all of our weaknesses in that way we didn't mind when we were young and knew we were still figuring things out. 

Recently a couple we've known since college phoned us and I remember thinking as we talked that these friends who knew us when, they never change. The way we feel about them now is the way we felt about them then. We live lives in different cities and don't see one another in person nearly as often as we'd like, yet I hear their voices on the other end of the line and I exhale and feel 22.

I tell my daughter that as hard as it is to say goodbye, there are people coming into her life who will also become so very dear to her. People who will walk beside she and her hubs as they navigate married life, parenting toddlers, teens, moves, a one day empty nest. These people exist now. They're out there and your lives will intersect in ways only God can orchestrate and there will come another day where you will look back and see the goodness and perfection of His timing. Where you will feel so grateful for all the people.

The new friends who have entered your life and added memories to the layers already stored. And the old friends too. Always the old, who in your mind are forever young.

The ones you're bidding farewell for now. The ones who never budge from the spot they claimed as theirs in a corner of your heart back when you were college roommates, or navigating the early years of adulthood where you struck out on your own in a grown up city in a grown up world. The ones who loved you, listened to you, lifted you up when you were down, and made you laugh until you cried. 

Those ones.

These ones.

Tuck these girls and this season into your heart, knowing it will never come again.
Knowing too, it will be there when you need to take it out and remember who you are.


  1. So true. People come and go in our lives at different times, but the memories of them stay with us forever!

  2. Lovely job of reminiscing and contemplating moving on. My daughter has moved many times with the military and there is a special bond with that group of nurses. They keep in touch and have a reunion every year somewhere where one of them is still stationed. My daughter left after 12 years but she has one who is a Lt. Colonel and one who is a full bird Colonel. And they are just still lovely girls who have dedicated themselves to the military. BTW I am also in a Beth Moore BS right now "Children of the Day". It's great. She's great.

  3. That dessert looks yummy! I agree with good friends. We can meet up with our best couple friends in Chicago and it's like nothing ever changed between us. But of course for your daughter right now it is hard to say goodbye. Sounds like your gave her great advice. These are such exciting times in her life and yours......take a deep breath!!!

  4. Awe, so sweet and so full of truth. So many feelings, so many emotions at this very, very special time in all of your lives. Happy weekend!

  5. You make me teary in a most nostalgic way. Beautiful, true sentiments. Your lovely daughters are blessed to have a wise Mother.

  6. All soo true, and described sooo well. Soo much still to come. And yet, much is left behind. The emotions are bittersweet. Hope you have a good week-end. How wonderful you have your daughter there with you for a while. Savor every minute.

  7. Oh my, I was meant to read this. Truer words have not been written. This post made me long for a rewind button and grateful for what's mine now. Thanks for letting us share your view. You are a jewel Joyce!

  8. Wow, Joyce. What a wonderful post. I'm a bit jealous that you & your daughters have that close bond with friends.(I have sisters, remember???!!!) She has to feel so excited, but still sad at what the future holds and what she's leaving behind.

  9. So beautifully written! So true....stepping excitedly into the future often means leaving things behind. Funny how life works. Please remind me of this when I take Barrett to college in nine months!

  10. Change is hard, even if it is an exciting change! Sorry I haven't been by lately. I miss the blogging world !

  11. Oh this makes me cry! I have one daughter 20 hours drive away, another who just moved closer from 11 hours drive. It will be so hard to see your daughter be far away, but your advice to her about the new friends who will be coming into her life was such wonderful advice - and so true! Bless you as you all go through this wonderful and heart-wrenching and joyous chapter in your lives.