Once upon a time, I worked at an animal clinic. I loved the job, save for the insanely mean egomaniac who ran the place and the cult-like trance the Office Manager inficted upon us all. While working there, I became friends with Lindsey, who was one of the funniest, most upbeat people I'd ever met. I remember when she started she was leaving a 'telemarketing' job where she worked late night hours. Uh-huh....sure, Linds. I read between the lines and was pretty sure she was a phone sex operator. She heard from the trance-inducing Office Manager that I wanted to be a Vet when I grew up, so she thought I was super serious.
How wrong we both were.
Anyhow, fast forward 8 years later. We worked at 3 jobs together. We were there for each others' weddings. I watched her belly grow when she was pregnant with her first daughter, Lauren. We drove to class together and talked about politics and religion, and gay marriage and love and kids and our boss at job #3 together, who we nick-named Mommy Dearest. We went out for coffee and snuck cigarettes. We met up at the Legislature during our internships. We went to movies together (Me: "So, does your husband like movies?"....Her: "Yeah. He does. Does yours?"....Me: "Yeah.".....silence....). She was a great friend, and still is. But in the time span of a little over a year, Lindsey and 3 of my other good friends all moved away. First, Meredyth went back home to Chicago. Next, Lindsey to Salt Lake City. Then Em and Isaac (2 friends in one) to St. Louis. Last, Tiffany to Alaska.
Life moved on. I was sad, but this is what happens when people grow up, right? We marry, have kids (or not), take jobs, move, move on....
When I was pregnant, I would say that's when I missed my friends the most. I remember being so excited and nervous and anxious and hopeful....and not having them around to share it with. I remember the day my pants stopped fitting...and I had no one to laugh about it with. I remember seeing our sweet baby's profile on ultrasound....and my friends weren't here to share the pictures with. And when Luca was born....they weren't there to visit us in the hospital or to hold my sweet baby girl in their arms.
I know this is what happens when we get older. I know this is part of growing up. And I know I am lucky. I have some wonderful friends. Great family. A fantastic husband who's the best friend I could ask for.
But a place in my heart is still really empty. It misses them.
I saw Lindsey today, with her two beautiful daughters and her fabulous sister in law (who ALSO worked for Mommy Dearest!). And it was like she never left. I sat on the floor with her and ate pitas and garlic dip. We talked and laughed and had a blast. So, thanks, Linds...and all my other friends close and far....for reminding me what's important in life: the people we love.