As of late I have found myself breaking into tears when I bake a cake or hear the soundtrack from Slumdog Millionaire. They have become Pavlovian triggers to the ache I feel since my friend Gwen moved to Switzerland.
They make me recall sitting in her kitchen and watching her bake while we talked. Her amazing mixture of pragmatic intellect and caring. How she would always cut to the quick. One day I was laying out plans of self improvement, as I often do. She looked me in the eye and asked, "Why do you feel you aren't good enough as you are? You are good enough Lotta." And it floored me how she knew what it was really all about. Not weight loss plans, or becoming organized. But about how I often don't feel like I am enough. Good enough as is.
Sitting with Gwen all day long at a movie festival, watching Slumdog Millionaire together is one of my favorite memories of our friendship. How rare to find a friend that will just sit with you..all day long. Just be present with you. We talked about our lives, and wishes and disappointments in between movies and popcorn. We agreed that it is impossible to find everything you need from your spouse, and how vital it is to have good friends in your life to fill it properly.
And now that she and her family have been living in Europe for awhile it is becoming evident that it isn't a temporary home for them. That more than likely this is where they will spend the duration of their family life, very far away. And my family's reality is that a water park weekend is something we budget for, so traveling abroad isn't likely in my near future.
And it has left me with this achy heart. Because finding friends that you can bare your soul to. That get to know the dark and twisty you and still love you are so very rare. And while Gwen will always be one of my friends closest to my heart. I so very much miss that she isn't close enough to hug and hang out with and simply be near anymore.