“Do you know how to get a passport?”
“A passport? Whatcha need a passport for?”
“Becuz we’re leaving the country for a few days.”
“Really? Ya takin’ a vacation?”
“Whatcha mean by ‘sorta’?”
“Well, it isn’t exactly a vacation.”
“Then what is it?”
“It’s a job interview.”
“Are you okay?”
“Yeah, sure, when did you find out?”
“A few weeks ago. Rob is really excited.”
“Where is this interview?”
“Wow…that’s kinda half way around the planet.”
“Yeah…that’s why I didn’t want to tell you.”
“Why wouldn’t you want to tell me?”
“Well, you know…the thing about friends leaving…I didn’t want to be another one.”
I sat silent on the other end of the conversation. How many times had I this same conversation…what 10, maybe 12 times now?
Funny, the first day I met Georgie, I laughed and told her, “the quickest way for your husband to get a promotion and transfer, is to become friends with me.”
Georgie had laughed. She thought my “curse” was just a joke. Now, a year into our friendship, it was happening all over again; another relationship page being torn from the story of my life.
I sighed and then attempted to sound supportive and enthusiastic for my friend. I knew all about getting passports…not because I owned one, but because I had helped 6 other friends, obtain theirs and move away.
“Is that all there is to it?”
“Yeah, just drive into the city, go to the Federal Building and they’ll have you fixed up in an hour or so.”
“Wow, that’s so much easier than going through the hassle at the post office and mailing off all my documents.”
“Sure is, you’ll be in and out in no time and you won’t have to leave your documents anywhere.”
“Thanks for you’re help.”
I flipped my phone closed and swallowed the lump in my throat. Already a tear had found its way down my cheek.
“Lord, it does no good to ask, why…so where do I go from here?”
“Bless your friend. Show your support.”
That week I went shopping and found a sexy negligee for her so their night in San Francisco could be special. Surprising her with the gift made us both cry.
“You’re going to have to get good with your computer.”
“I promise. I’ll learn to email you, but you know I’m not the writer you are.”
“I know, but you can at least let me know you’re alive.”
We hugged, tight and long. I knew the drill all too well. At first she would email regularly, because she was in a new place with no friends. But as she adjusted, made friends and built a life, our correspondence would dwindle down to occasional Christmas cards and maybe a birthday.
Leaning against the airport terminal glass I waved at the departing plane. I brushed away the collected tears and heading to the parking lot.
Turning the key in the ignition I asked God to protect my friend’s travel. I thanked Him for the variety of people that had floated through the river of my life.
As I drove out onto the freeway I wondered who was the next person transferring…I wonder if they’ll need a passport.
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