She said she was going to miss us.
“Especially you and your family,” she added seriously. “You don´t know how much.”
I didn´t get it. Her admissions left me slightly confused and amused. She was going away for less than three months. Great learning experiences awaited her in new, interesting places. I couldn´t quite understand her degree of melancholy. Sure, I was going to miss her too, but no need to be overly sentimental about it.
A week and five days have passed. I´ve had to jump in the river, eat at a Japanese restaurant, attend Thursday night Bible study, watch Pride and Prejudice, scramble over giant fallen redwoods, and throw an Aerobie Frisbee for it to finally hit me—I don´t just miss my friend, I truly miss her. It could be said I miss her company, her craziness, her laugh, her phone calls, her multi-faceted support…but that would be a small percentage of the entire truth. My missing of her sinks deep into that region of my heart where words fail. It´s now my turn to feel sentimental.
If I had to describe what is missing, I´d say I miss the bond we share when she´s part of my days. There´s something different about life´s experience when you have someone next to you who knows you well and chooses to love you as you are, and who has likewise let themself be known and loved by you. There´s underlying comfort in being near one who won´t too quickly misinterpret your silences and gracefully looks past your everyday mistakes. That person is safer and more confident with you nearby, and you are likewise less afraid and more at ease when they are present.
A bond like this is rare and precious. I think, perhaps, I´ve begun to taste the emotion that my best friend was trying to express. I am recognizing that her pre-trip sentimentality was rather insightful.
My mind turns to another Friend who deeply cherishes authentic bonds with us. One who knows all, and yet still longs to be known; who sees into billions of souls, but still values individual beauty and glimpses beyond unsightly personal flaws. One who considers separation from us emotionally wrenching. One who draws courage from a single open conversation. One who, though invisible, is not far from any one of us.
When you choose a divergent path, the growing distance breaks His heart. He misses you. You can´t imagine how much.