The day you told me for sure that you and your family were going to be moving away, I said I understood and was here to support you. I did understand. I do support you. But the real truth is, I’m heartbroken.
The first time I met you I knew, I just knew that you and I were going to be friends. While we chatted as we watched kids play and we asked and answered the questions that people do when making friends- all about husbands and kids and things we do and so many of our answers were the same. Which is really funny because we are really pretty different. You are one of the most talented yarn artist I have met. I can’t sew a straight seam. I can stand in front of a group of people and give a speech with no problem, you’d die a quivering mess before you volunteered to do so. I’m a transplanted Texan who loves nothing more than a nice, big, juicy steak, and you’re a transplanted Brit, a vegetarian who won’t even LOOK at a piece of chicken. I’m coffee, you’re tea.
And yet, you’re my best friend.
I knew it the first time you and I went neck and neck for Margaritas. (and compared headaches the next day). I knew it when we sat in the house watching kids hurl themselves down your steep sledding hill letting them learn the laws of gravity and not panicking when they crashed. I certainly knew it as we belted out Meatloaf after dinner and drinks. You have always, ALWAYS been there for me no matter what, no questions asked- even if you did trick us into joining Boy Scouts. Whether I needed a cup of milk, a mug of tea, someone to take my boy, drive my girl, watch my dog, protect me from the scary library ladies, or to whip up a Princess Ball Gown out of curtains, you were there. You never judged me or ignored me as so many others did when my daughter was ill, and depressed, you were just there for me. More importantly, when I needed an ear, or an honest truthful answer, you were there. Just up the hill, I knew that if there was a break in the day I could call you and have a “quick cuppa” and catch up.
And now, you won’t be.
I could sit and grouse about it, and cry, bitch, moan, and be pissy (and I’ve done all those things) but the biggest thing I can do is to smile a great big crazy tear filled smile because you and I are have been great friends and we have had SUCH a fun time! We’ve learned so much from each other. Hell, you made me SOCKS. Handmade SOCKS. knit just for me. I cry now every time I open my sock drawer. Some think it’s silly, but the fact that you spent time on just me making those FOR me means so much. I love those socks, and all the love in every stitch.
I could go on, but I can just hear you in my head, with your lovely Mary Poppins voice saying, “Right, then, let’s go!” as you move on to the next chapter of your life. I know it’s not the move you would have chosen to take, but it’s where your life is leading you and you’re meeting that challenge with true English grit and determination. You’re going to be Bloody Brilliant (see what I did there?) in your new home. It’s exactly where you need to be. Elmcrest Farm is going to be so special. You make everywhere you go special, just be being you.
Last night, you told me something your friend Clare said to you as you moved away from her. I know the two of you were best friends, and your kids were best friends, as our sons are. I know that you both were as sad about parting as you and I are. Clare said, “I’m sad you’re leaving, but I really hope once you get there, you find your own Jane.” The hope is you find your own friend who is as kind and loving and giving and wonderful as you are. Someone who is as easy to be with and and fun to be with as you are. Someone who can lighten up your life and just be a constant pleasure as you are. Clare was right.
I love you, Jane, and your family, and I want more than anything for you to be happy. You really deserve it. Go have fun in your new wonderful farmhouse and get more chickens and some goats and all manner of farm things and most of all, I want you to go to New Jersey, and right away, find your own Jane. I’m thankful that you are my friend and I’ll always have a place to visit and although it won’t be the same, it will still be good. I won’t say goodbye, but I’ll say see you later, or better yet, I’ll say, Toodle pip.
Toodle pip my lovely.
Oh, and this is for you, from Aedan and I. I can’t knit, but I can make you this.