One of my dearest & oldest friends is leaving me. Well, sorta. Kate and her husband, Todd, are, at this very moment, backing their U-Haul into our driveway to leave in the morning for Albuquerque. Kate’s a Nebraskan, born & raised, and except for college and a short stint in Romania, she’s been a prairie girl. This is home. Todd landed a great internship with the Department of Homeland Security, and so, they’re off.
It’s only just hit me that they’re leaving. I’m kind of surprised at how emotional I’ve gotten over it this afternoon…but when I think about the past ten years I’ve shared in friendship with Kate (the last three with Todd by her side), it’s right that I should be missing her so fiercely. I met Kate just after she moved to Omaha, fresh outta college. I had just left home myself, and in that period of who-am-I-really-now-that-I’m-apparently-an-adult, our friendship was sealed. She’s my sister-from-another-mister. We’re alike in so many ways that it’s amazing our friendship hasn’t weathered an ice age. Kate is possibly the most loyal gal I know. She’s not good at letting friendships get dusty – and thank God for that. She was there the day I got engaged. We cackled over dozens of episodes of ‘Friends’. Donned our old prom dresses for our annual Miss America party. I stampeded her on the way down the aisle on my wedding day. She drove two hours to see my firstborn (who was due on Kate’s birthday, but stalled) just a week or two after she arrived…and made the trip a few times (once in a white-knuckle blizzard) just to have ‘Lost’ marathons, ring in the new year, and get me out of the house with the old gang of gals. She and Todd put together my son’s nursery just to surprise Michael, who was still working two hours away while I was swollen & pregnant. We shared dozens of house parties, game nights, girls’ nights, late nights up talking until we were almost asleep. She was the best roommate I never had.
I’ve been much less of a friend to her, I think. Getting hitched and having kids before most of my gang changed the game a little for all of us. I was so honored to stand with Kate on her wedding day. Todd is such a good match for her, and just as loyal a friend. Michael and I have loved our late movie nights with those two, hours (not enough!) of Guitar Hero, and any chance we get to hang out and laugh. We always laugh. Lots. Kate got her man – I’m glad that Todd never really let her get away.
It’s not been nearly enough time to spend with them – we never got to camp together! go hit the Huber Haus on a double date! go to a Husker game! vacation together! and yet, I’m so grateful for these past ten years. I’m excited for them as they strike out together, on their own. Those two are unstoppable. Michael and I are so grateful for their friendship. I’m sad that a piece of me will be so far away. I’m sad to think that when they start adding to their family, I won’t be there to go shopping for maternity clothes, or to help decorate the nursery. When (if!) she gets bored out there in the desert, who will be there to get her out of the house? Who will be the third and fourth members of the Guitar Hero band? The distance will kill me.
Wipe the tears away and raise a glass, Lindsay.
Here’s to you, Kate & Todd! Or Spud & Tater, as Michael & I call you behind your backs. (It’s probably high time you knew.) As the Irish say, may you always walk in sunshine. Especially now that it’ll be a nice dry heat. Remember us out here on the humid prairie. We love you. We miss you. We hope to see you soon, whether here or there or points in between. There’ll be lots of laughs waiting for you ’til then. Bon voyage, friends.