Jennifer and I have been friends for almost 12 years. We met our freshman year of college and became fast friends. We quickly discovered that our birthdays were exactly 1 day apart (although Jen is a year older), so for exactly one day each year, we are the same age. We lived in the same hall, on the same floor. We shared the same dress size and love of music. We shared a birthday party that first fall. And then, halfway through our freshman year, we found ourselves sharing a room. There have been periods when we have not kept in touch as well as others. We have made different friends and have had different experiences. I moved to Arizona while she stayed here. But through it all, Jennifer has been one of those friends who I knew I could always count on. Even when months went by with little or no contact, I always knew that the second I needed her, she would be there for me.Last year, Jennifer met Sungti Hsu and married him about a month after I moved back to Utah. It was fun to reconnect and be able to spend time with Jen and get to know her wonderful new husband. He really is amazing. We have spent lots of nights together since I moved back, eating and laughing and playing and tonight was another one of those nights. However, tonight was different. Tonight was the last night I will spend with the Hsu’s for a while. On Saturday they are leaving for graduate school in Kansas. I didn’t realize just how terribly I would miss them until tonight, as we were hugging goodbye (you know I like someone if I hug them) and I began to get a little teary eyed.
Don’t get me wrong. I know I’m a crier, but I was not expecting such waterworks…especially since there is a good chance I will see them one last time. But, as I watched them leave, I realized what an integral part Jen has played in my life. She has been a part of so many of my major life experiences and has been what only Jen could be. She was the one there with me when I got the phone call that my mom had died. She was the one who told me that I turned into a total brat when I spent time with a certain boy. She was the one who listened to my cry when my heart broke for the first time. She was there with me as I entered the MTC to leave on my my mission. She was the one friend that was at my college graduation. She was with me as I made the move to Arizona…literally driving that long drive. She helped me paint the walls in my first house. She was there, on the other end of the phone, when I fell in and out of like numerous times. She was here when I moved back to Utah with a broken heart and no clue how to pick up the pieces of my life.
Through these last 12 years, she has been this little beacon through the storms, always there, always shining, always pointing in the right direction, making sure that somehow, through the pain and grief and trials of life, I kept laughing. Of course, Jen’s leaving is not the end of our friendship or her role in my life. This has happened before, but I was the one who left last time. It’s much harder being the one left behind. It just hit me tonight, as the group of us were sitting at dinner and later on playing games, how much I will miss her as a regular, physical presence in my life.
Jen has taught me so many things and I’m sure she is unaware of most of them as they were lessons of example rather than theory. And while this is definitely not the end of anything, it is a good opportunity for me to reflect on our years as friends and realize just how blessed I am to have such a wonderful friend. My wish for anyone would be that they could have their own beautiful, kind, compassionate, optimistic, hilarious and extremely photogenic Hsu! A Hsu that always fits, no matter how much life changes.
Here are some songs that will forever make me think of my darling friend Jen and our freshman year…I am a huge Shawn Colvin fan and she was my artist of choice at the time, so we spent lots of time listening to her…along with Alanis’ “Head Over Feet” on repeat down in the laundry room for hours at a time. We have enjoyed/shared lots of music likes and dislikes since then, but this was the soundtrack that started it all. Enjoy!
climb on – shawn colvin
polaroids – shawn colvin
round of blues – shawn colvin
object of my affection – shawn colvin
steady on – shawn colvin
another long one – shawn colvin
the dead of the night – shawn colvin
tenderness on the block – shawn colvin
head over feet – alanis morissette
I love, love, love Shawn Colvin. Polaroids is one of my all-time favorite songs.It’s crushing to move away from a friend as fabulous as Jen. Like Lori said we were always the ones moving away, so being left is foreign to us. Jen sounds like an amazing friend, what a blessing to have someone like that in your life, no matter where she lives.
I have a friend like that….it is the best feeling in the world to know that no matter how much time passes without talking she will always be in my life.
Being left behind is so hard- it has been a week since Jessie went across the country and I still want to just call her on the most random of things like usual. Having a kindred friend like your Jennifer is what makes life exciting and more meaningful. I feel for you in so many ways.Oh- and the curler pic of my daughter was with my 50mm lens.
Friends like that don’t come around everyday. You’re very lucky. It is hard when friends move away and you don’t get to see them as much. Thank heavens for the long distance phone calls.
Chloe– not the least weirded out by your commenting on my blog. Obviously I like attention more than I wish I did or I wouldn’t have a blog. 🙂 You’re so sweet and your blog is beautiful. Are you a photographer? A cook? A computer wiz? All of the above? I’m impressed. Visit me anytime.
I have a friend like this. We have not lived by each other for the last 5 years but you’re right it is not the end of your friendship. You can tell that you will always be there for each other.
thanks for getting me all teary-eyed at my desk at work. shoot. i don’t want them to leave.
what a fantastic friend. it’s so wonderful that you have had someone go through so much with you. friends like that become your chosen family. sorry she’s moving! just think how great it will be when you’re reunited again! 🙂
I love the title. It sounds like you guys have the kind of friendship that can withstand the cross-country distance. It’s nice to have those kind of friends, even though it does stink when someone leaves. I used to think it was worse to be left, but after just doing the leaving…I’m going to switch my vote. It hurts.
Who doesn’t love Jennifer? They don’t come much better than her.
What a great post. You had me crying with the list of all the things she was there for you through. It is amazing what friends go through for us, with us… I’m sorry she’s moving away. That really sucks. I HATE being left. Growing up, I was always the one leaving, now I can’t take being left. It’s a helpless feeling. It makes me excited sometimes to think of the new friendships that are out there just waiting for us. And I’m always so hesitant to open up to new people, but it’s insane. What if I missed out on having a great friend like yours?You’re lucky to have had her all this time, and cell phones make things so easy to still talk everyday.