Last night we had to tell our dear friends that we would not be able to make it to their wedding next weekend. P and I were in denial about the feasibility of getting there while we’re in the process of relocating, working, finding sub-tenants, etc, etc. Apparently we were the only ones. All our neighbors assumed we’d already cancelled, and the bride herself said, “I thought so…”
They were gracious, and understanding, and it still feels like shit.
But our friend gave us a gift as we were parting ways last night. She recalled meeting us when we first moved across the hall from her. The details of the interaction(s) weren’t cemented, but the end result was her reporting to another neighbor, “I think I’m gonna like that Alana. She’s sassy.”
Now that we’re leaving this apartment, it feels as if we’ve always been here. Always exchanging sassy retorts with friends over fences. Always talked about relationship issues. Always had one another’s keys, grieved over lost pets, shared produce, made ice cream, welcomed new children. But our friend’s comment last night reminded me: We left somewhere else in order to move here. The home I had before moving to this one was unique, and magical, and surrounded by amazing people. And the one before that. And the one before that. I remember the beginnings. Stopping to chat with a gardening neighbor. Seeing the same person in the dog park until it became “come over for a beer.” Making dinner plans with a new coworker.
I love thinking back on these first encounters. Even if I can’t remember the exact moment our eyes first locked, I can still recall that initial connection. The trick now is remaining open to even more new first encounters. That’s a challenging feat for a heart that’s grieving.
I’d love for you to indulge me with your memories of our first encounters. Those stories would help fuel our leap into the unknown.