Friends First.

Momo and I met online seven years ago, at some point in 2008. (In Internet time that’s virtually 575 years ago.)

We met in real life in June of 2009, when I helped bring a van full of meat to her house. (The Momo’s Meat Wagon story is here.)

We’ve been close friends ever since.

I became her contractor at BlogHer three years ago, and for every day of those three years I have been one half of a total Dream Team.

#BlogHer13 Chicago, in the shirts I bedazzled. Don't ever let people take pictures of you at this angle. Also, look at HER hair, not mine.
#BlogHer13 Chicago, in the shirts I bedazzled. Don’t ever let people take pictures of you at this angle. Also, look at HER hair, not mine.

I don’t think every pair of friends could have a successful work relationship, but we do. We have worked together seamlessly, with excellent communication and just the right balance of fun and professionalism. It really has been a dream.

Now she’s leaving (tomorrow’s her last day), and I’m so sad. I’m beyond sad.

Wait. Let me clarify.
The opportunity that she has accepted is so wonderful for her and her kids that, had she told me that she was going to turn it down, as her close friend I would have knocked her block off. She would have been a total idiot to turn it down. Luckily, she’s very smart.

When she first told me about this opportunity nearly two weeks ago and said she was considering it, well, that’s the first day I cried. As her friend? I’m THRILLED for her. As her co-worker/teammate? I’m DEVASTATED.

I don’t like major change. That said, every time I’ve experienced major change in my life, everything turns out fine. Those transitions, though. They’re tough.

That’s why I’ve been a hot mess for nearly two weeks. I’ve cried at various levels of helplessness and desperation nearly every single day. I’ve cried by myself and I’ve cried on the phone with Momo while she wailed along with me. Because we were friends first, I know she forgives me for having this tantrum that could rival a three-year-old’s. I keep telling myself, while I cry, that I’m probably making her feel really GOOD by having a fit about this.

Not to be dramatic (Who, me?), but I have been immersed in the seven stages of grief, with an especially long stop at Depression.

And then last night happened.
Momo sent me a video via Facebook message. She said that she made it for someone else but that she thought I’d want a copy too. And then that wickedly sarcastic and morbid sense of humor she has that I truly love so much when it doesn’t affect me, came out to play.

Facebook message

While we were messaging, we were texting.

Momo text

Then, feeling especially goofy, I told her I was going to tweet her so we could be on three platforms at once.

Momo twitter

She followed up with an Instagram. Four! Four platforms! Ah-ha-ha!

I emailed her. Five.

Momo email

And then tagged her on Google+. Six.

Momo Google+

I would’ve gone on LinkedIn to make seven, but I really can’t stand LinkedIn. Besides, six was funny enough.

Last night brought to the forefront what I’ve always known but have been trying to focus on extra hard for the past two weeks. We were friends first, and we will be friends forever. We won’t be on the same team at the same company anymore, but she’s not really going anywhere. We’ve only worked in the same room for seven days each year; everything else has been on the phone. She’s not getting rid of her phone, and neither am I.

I still cried last night, but I think I just might be on the way to the seventh stage of grief, Acceptance. Our friendship is for keeps. I’m still going to talk to her all the time. I’m still going to be annoyed at her when she doesn’t say BYE! at the end of a text conversation. I’m still going to see her at the conferences, only she’ll be an attendee (probably making fun of me for having to work). I’m still going to expect that, if I call her late at night after she’s taken her Ambien, I may only have four minutes before she falls asleep on her end of the phone while I’m talking. I’m still going to visit her in Columbus now and then, and when I do, I’m STILL going to kick her a$$ at Ms. Pac Man when we go to the Barcade. And possibly Donkey Kong too, because of my patented reverse grip strategy.

Friends first, friends always.

Momo, I’m so proud of you. You earned this and BlogHer’s loss is Nationwide’s gain. I’m so happy for you and your kids that my heart is bursting for you. I will miss you at work something awful (GAH SO AWFUL OMFG MY HEART HURTS PLEASE DON’T GOOOOOO) (But I know you have to go gahhhhh), and because your wickedly sarcastic and morbid sense of humor has rubbed off on me just a little bit in the last seven years, I truly hope you are ugly crying your eyes out as you reach the end of this post, just like I am.

Days since my last tear-free day: Zero.
I love you, Momo.