Missing Friends #Life

Nearly fifteen years ago, my boyfriend as of no more than a month informed me we were going out to lunch. In fact, we were leaving right then and there, and we had to hurry because they were waiting for us. I was all sorts of confused, but shrugged, hopped in the car, and rode with him to Outback Steakhouse where he ushered me inside and presented me to the people we were to dine with.

That was the first time I’d met his friends, and as the years progressed and my boyfriend turned into my husband, his friends became my friends.

We spent every Saturday meeting up for lunch, signed up for World of Warcraft and created our own guild, hung out both online and off. They were part of our wedding and joined us for bowling afterward because it was too early to check into the hotel. I remember the day when I was scanning one of their Amazon wish lists and was surprised to find baby items among running gear and nail polish. Guess who was pregnant?

Their twins were born a couple months before my daughter, and though the children ended our online gaming and Saturday lunch outings, we adjusted to meet on holidays and for birthday parties, for running races and WoW theme food festivals. In the recent months, it extended to include Pokémon GO Community Day and Raid days, where the kids excitedly hunted their various monsters and screamed in delight when they caught a shiny.

The kids were growing up together–same grade, same interests. Friends.

A couple of weeks ago, they stopped by our house to tell us in person: They were moving. We live in Idaho, and they’re reverse migrating to California. It’s due to a wonderful opportunity that makes me incredibly happy for them… but gosh darn it, is it bittersweet. I heard one of the twins tell my daughter, “I’ll probably never see you again.” Though I don’t think that’ll really be the case, it does go to show how life altering this little change is.

None of us are highly active, if active at all, on social media. We were always an in-person kind of gang and not keen on seeing our own faces on our phone screens. Now I’m hunting down what apps will best keep us in touch. I’ve signed up with Marco Polo after a recommendation from my social-savvy critique buddies. So far, the kids are enjoying updating each other with little video blips. I hope it’ll continue.

To my friends, I wish you the greatest adventure, a fun-filled life, and a lot of success in all your ventures. I look forward to when I can see you again in person.

Have you ever had a close friend move away? How do you keep in touch? What are your favorite apps to communicate with?

Loni Townsend

About Loni Townsend

Wife. Mother. Writer. Ninja. Squirrel.

17 thoughts on “Missing Friends #Life

  1. Yvonne Kuhn

    Totally missing them myself 🙁 Two days ago, I got a request from Marco Polo, and am now also chatting with them on it! So exciting, and it’s so nice to see their faces! I told them when they told us of the move, that the world is a much smaller place than it once was. My kids still keep in contact with friends that have moved away to far away places that they knew in grade school. I’m hoping that is the case here.

  2. It’s hard when friends move away, especially when there’re kids involved. I’m sorry. It super sucks, but you’ll adjust and get used to it 🙁

    I’m old fashioned myself: I call my friends on the ride home from work to chat. We should probably FaceTime, but old fashioned phone calls still work for me! I hope this trasition is as smooth and painless as possible for everyone involved 🙂

  3. I’m sorry that your friends are moving away. It sounds nice that everyone, including the kids, are eager to keep in touch!

    I think social media is very helpful for staying in touch with people. When I was 13 or 14, my best friend since kindergarten moved away, and this was before social media was even a thing. We first reconnected on Myspace but never got together. Now we keep in touch through Facebook and get together every now and then. I even went to her wedding last year!

  4. My sister-in-law and family moved to Ohio last year (almost exactly a year ago now). I see what they’re up to on Facebook. The kids seem to be all about the SnapChat. I think it’s easier for kids to move away nowadays with Instagram, Twitter, FB, SC, and that’s not even mentioning Skype and Facetime. It’s hard, but just think–you now have an excuse to get out of town to visit 😉

  5. I’m sorry! I moved around a lot as a kid and said goodbye to many friends. Most I’ve lost contact with. (Since guys don’t social media or keep in contact as well as women do.)
    Hopefully you guys can also FaceTime now and then.

  6. It’s usually been me who has moved away. Sometimes I wouldn’t see or talk to my old friends for months. That was back before cheap long distance and internet. Now keeping touch is usually easy, but I tend to forget about it and old friends rarely call me. We’re all busy with families, work, and life in general. But when we do talk or get together it’s just like old times–kind of.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

  7. OMG – we just took friends out to dinner last night who are moving from here (NC) to Texas – and it’s heartbreaking. They were those rare friends that both my husband and I liked and we all got along.

  8. I’m the one who moved away from my friends, but only about 2 hours away. Since they still live by my parents, it’s not too hard to pop in for a visit.

  9. I absolutely understand what you’re going through. My hubby’s career caused us to move around quite a bit. My son’s career does the same thing to him, as does my brother’s. We are scattered all over the US. We stay connected through Skype. Honestly, though, we’re more likely to shoot each other a quick text than anything else or randomly give each other a call on the drive home from work while sitting in traffic. It’s like no time has passed at all. We always pick up where we left off and I’m hoping you guys will too.

    Elsie

  10. Having left Wales in Fall 2016, we have used Facebook to stay in touch with some of the UK friends – it also helps with the US friends that don’t live next door. I admit that I miss the face-to-face visits, but it’s better than silence. I hope things work out for you and your friends, Loni.

  11. It’s tough to lose close friends like that. It’s happened to me a lot – mostly because I’m the one who moves. I still keep in touch with them through Facebook and by sending cards and visiting them once in a while. But it’ s not quite the same. Hopefully you’ll find ways to keep your friendship going.

  12. Oh, that’s so sad, Loni. I feel your pain.

    Living in a somewhat apathetic city, where most people do “just fine” but hardly anyone does fantastic, I’ve watched as many driven, talented friends moved away. Especially in my early-to-mid twenties. I hope to move away too, eventually, but circumstances keep conspiring to keep me here.

    Facebook, despite all its pitfalls, is a great way to keep in touch. You can form groups, send messages, videos, and photos, and just quickly scroll through your newsfeed to see what people are up to when you don’t have time for longer messages. Skype and other video-call services are great too. For overseas friends, I also like What’sApp.

  13. It’s always hard when people you are close to move away. I’ve never been a fan of Facetime or Skype, but maybe it will grow on my eventually. I mostly stick to Facebook, but at times, I wonder how “real” that staying in touch is? There’s really no substitute for in-person, and when that’s not possible, chats on the phone are the next best thing in my opinion.

  14. I sympathize. It’s tough when good friends move away. It’s hard to make new friends as an adult. I’ve been the one that moved a lot during my late teens and 20’s. Yet i was really good at keeping in contact friends back in the letter writing days. Not quite so great these days when it’s easier, funny enough.

  15. Oh Loni, I feel your pain. My good friends left too this spring. Holidays feel a little emptier, but they too had an opportunity that couldn’t be passed on.

  16. I haven’t experienced that, but my wife has. Our neighbor from two doors down was great friends with my wife. My wife visited her and her newborns all the time, and when our little girl was born, our neighbor was the first to show up at our house. Unfortunately, they moved away the next year, and we slowly lost touch with them over the years, so it was great when that ex-neighbor showed up at our house for my daughter’s graduation party several weeks ago.

    Social media is great, but it’s not as good as being there.

  17. I just saw your comment on my blog. There’s nothing wrong with your mind being a scary place. That’s why you’re a writer!

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