My co-pilot/DJ for the evening turned out to be a young man who had been in my primary when I served as president of that organization in our ward.
Over the years, he'd come through some hard family situations and we'd weathered some difficulty in difference of personality. He hadn't been my biggest fan then, but I'd done my best to let him know that I was his.
He moved out of state Monday and as we rode along Saturday night, he chatted about his concerns in moving, his reservations in making new friends, the new adventure awaiting him.
He was lovely and a far cry from that frustrated boy.
Along our ride, he marveled at the sunset, snapped a shot with his camera phone and asked my number so he could send it to me. As he left my car, I just had to tell him I thought he'd be great where ever life took him .. and I meant it because he's becoming something amazing.
I had been holding it together just fine. But for some strange reason, his leaving hammered me over a few others that I've stonewalled through this week as I drove home in the quiet.
There are certain women you meet in life and wonder if in the great before, you were cut out of the same fabric in the making. Friday night, I said goodbye to a favorite friend who was meant to be a sister. Her children and mine were thick as thieves.
She and her family departed for the opposite side of the country the following morning.
That's really all I can say about that other than ....
She took a small piece of my heart with her.
The greater part of this week will be spent helping my sister who moved here a short while ago, move once again to a distant state.
We are filling every spare moment saying goodbye to cousins we've loved having close for what feels like a minute.
In such a short time, how did I come to enjoy having family near?
She made me promise not to say "how could you do this?", "how could you make us turn cousins into best friends?", "how could you take away almost daily conversations?", "how could you vanish hopes for future gatherings?", "how could you rip our hearts out and leave us behind as you skip off on new adventures while we pick up the pieces of telling children ... 'no, we cannot see them today' ... how?"....
Or something like that, anyway.
I've been good.
But in that silent drive home from carting teenage kids to that dance, that good was suddenly not. It's always hardest to be the ones left behind.
I'm trying to remember this quote from this college friend:
"In Friendship…we think we have chosen our peer. In reality a few years’ difference in the dates of our births, a few more miles between certain houses, the choice of one university instead of another…the accident of a topic being raised or not raised at a first meeting—any of these chances might have kept us apart. But, for a Christian, there are, strictly speaking, no chances.
A secret Master of Ceremonies has been at work. Christ, who said to the disciples, “Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you,” can truly say to every group of Christian friends “You have not chosen one another, but I have chosen you for one another.” The Friendship is not a reward for our discriminating and good taste in finding one another out. It is the instrument by which God reveals to each the beauties of others."
And go on living rather than missing those I've loved having on my path.