Someone once said to me that you have friends for a season, friends for a reason or friends for a lifetime. When I was planning my wedding, over 5 years ago, I met someone new, someone who was also planning her wedding. Amanda had moved from Scotland down to Surrey and was looking for new friends in the area. We ‘met’ on a wedding planning forum online and arranged to meet for a drink one afternoon.
I didn’t make a habit of trying to make friends with people online – I actually have always found it hard to make new friends and have always had a few quality friends rather than a lot of friends that I don’t know so well. I met Amanda in a pub near where she lived and it was like we’d known each other forever. We chatted about our weddings, about my new little brother who was due to be born a few days later and Amanda’s upcoming birthday. It was early February 2009, the sun was shining and we had a lovely few drinks promising to meet up again.
Those five years have flown by. We have both been married nearly five years now and both have two children – three months between our eldests and three months between our youngests. We spent the last five years growing a friendship through shopping trips, days out, trips to London and the Bath Christmas market. Every time we met up it was accompanied by endless tea and even more endless cake.
I learnt Amanda’s quirks – her need for a straw with fizzy drinks, her choice of Granola bars when we went out for tea and cake – saying that the fruit content made them healthier than other options. We had sleepovers, nights out and meals. There’s the evening of ‘double chips’ that neither of us will ever forget and the time I picked her up from the train station at mine but had run the battery down in the car listening to the stereo!
Back in late 2010 I moved 30 miles away and Amanda and I couldn’t see each other as often but we still saw each other as much as we could – Every few weeks or once a month generally. We’d have play dates at each other’s houses or Amanda and I would sneak off for a shopping trip to Lakeside – drive there, have tea and cake, shop a bit, have lunch, shop a bit, have more tea and cake, drive home. Always at least three food/cake related stops on a shopping trip!
Amanda and I didn’t grow up together but we know so much about each other. In five short years we have become so close and our children love each other too. Amanda is my bestest Scottish chum and today she takes a step that is so, so right for her family – They are moving back to Scotland. I am so happy that Amanda’s children get to grow up around their grandparents, aunties, uncles and cousins that love them, and that haven’t been able to see them as often as they would like for the first part of their lives.
In Amanda I have gained a friend that isn’t just for a season or even a reason. She’s a friend that has been there through so much and a friend that I know I will always have in my life – Just the thought of her being so far away is so incredibly hard right now. As I said, I don’t have a lot of friends, but a handful of friends that mean a huge amount to me and Amanda not being nearby will be like losing a limb – But we’ll get used to it, eventually, and we will plan holidays where the kids can see Auntie Amanda, where we can catch up and where I can meet all Amanda’s friends and family that I have heard so much about.
Wishing my amazing friend all the luck in the world, although she doesn’t need it.
This isn’t goodbye, it’s see you later.