Monday, July 26, 2010

The Downside of the Upside

One of the first things we learned 15 years ago when we moved to Durham and started going to church was that our ward (congregation) had a significant transient population.  (Not homeless families—student families.) Over the last 15 years we’ve gotten to rub shoulders with many Duke Law, business, and PhD students, as well as residents working at Duke Hospital.  It didn’t take very many years before we knew as soon as we met someone new just about how long they’d be here.  Two years for business (minus the summer), three for law (minus the summers), 5-7 for a PhD, etc.

The upside to living in this ward is that we have met so many interesting and wonderful people; far more than we would ever have come to know living in a more traditional ward with a stable population.  We have loved meeting the new arrivals each year, associating with them in our callings and getting to know them on a more personal level. 

And that’s where the downside comes in.  We decide we really like these people, they become an important part of our lives, and then, like clockwork, they leave us.

Earlier this summer it was Amy’s time to leave.  I know her husband had graduated from law school and all, and that they weren’t interested in poverty as a permanent life-style, but I really liked having Amy here.  She is one of the most fun people I’ve ever known, and I’m not just saying that because she had a totally Twilight themed birthday party.  Amy was always so much fun to play games with, she made any book group more fun, and who will watch all 3 Twilight movies with me next year when the 4th comes out??  Durham just will not be the same place without Amy.

June 2010 661 

I thought that once Amy was gone the sadness was done for the year, but then we got one of those curve balls we weren’t expecting.

Katie, my dearly loved visiting teaching companion, is moving sooner than expected.  Now I have agreed to stay happy, and to throw a “we’re not so sad that you’re moving party,” and I will be true to my word. 


But inside, I’m going to be sad, sad, sad.  How on earth will a new visiting teaching companion measure up?  Who will I have such interesting conversations with and such fun (and late!) girls nights? Where will I learn great dessert recipes? Who could ever have a husband quite as…interesting…to entertain us?  (I’m sure that no one else’s husband would eat a cricket!)  It just won’t be the same here without Katie, and I am going to miss her so much.

I’m trying to develop a more zen attitude about this.  Trying to focus on the upside; that I am truly so happy to have known these awesome women.  Really, I’m working very hard at it. 

But for right now, I’m more than a little bit sad, too…


  1. And who is going to make my visiting teaching appointments for me, and analyze my relationships and give me great books to read? I do take great comfort in the fact that you are such a great long-distance friend, though. Will you make us into a ward legend in the way of Sean and Katie? :)

  2. Well--let's just say that Sean never ate a cricket... ;)