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  • Writer's pictureAmanda

The Love Never Leaves

Have you heard “A Day in the Life” by the Beatles?

There is so much to love about that song. One of my favorites of all time.

There’s this point at the end of it that’s breathtaking- this last piano chord, extended with a sense of finality.

I’ve heard it described as “standing on the edge of the universe, watching the galaxy play out in front of you.”

That’s how I felt in May of 2023.

Flynn and I were laying on a mattress in the middle of the floor of her sorority house. It had been emptied of people and furniture a few days prior. 

Now all that was left was a few forgotten objects: a vacuum, a toaster, some old college date party outfits. Then there was Flynn, the mattress, and me.

The spring of 2023 was a sucker punch.

I’ve written a bit about loss on this blog- still feels weird to fully dive in.

I was still coping with the reality that it’s possible for a friend and a college student to pass away.

I was still reeling with the fact that life moves on.

I was accepting that what I’d envisioned for myself was moments away: going to the city like I’d wanted, getting the dream job that I’d bent over backwards to interview for, not to mention all of those new doors that I had yet to open.

And despite everything on the horizon, there was so much to leave behind.

I’d spent four years of my life scrambling to soak this town in. I loved the people and the local coffee shops, the brick roads and the state park I drove through nearly every day.

I worried that leaving it meant betraying it. I’m not too great at keeping in touch, and I knew that the classmates that I’d wave hello to as I walked to campus probably wouldn’t translate into pen pals.

I worried that ending the chapter would result in it fading away.

And now all I had to show for it was an empty house and a mattress.

Standing at the edge of my universe.

It was a familiar feeling - I’d felt it as I left Des Moines, too. But this goodbye was a little more reluctant. It meant truly leaving the Midwest- my Midwest. 

No one told me that cornfields would feel like home.

Anyway, Flynn and I really got into it that night. We reminisced on how we became friends (she shot a firework at my head) and where we’d travel together next once we blew this Ohioan popsicle stand.

Flynn and my talks inspired my last “Senior Sendoff,” parting words given to underclassmen by the Miami seniors.

I got a little choked up giving mine, if we’re being honest. I don’t remember the majority of what I said. I do remember saying something that was equal parts cheesy and totally heartfelt:

“The love isn’t leaving though, right? It’s moving.”

I remember saying “If I’m all the way in Boston, and my friends are moving to Seattle, Cincinnati, Chicago- that’s a lot of love.”

And I remember thinking “If my friend isn’t alive on earth, and he still stays with all of us- that’s a lot of love.”

To me, these connections we’ve built stretch across time and geography like telephone lines. Like each person I’ve experienced is tied to me with a strand of red yarn, regardless of where our pushpins land on the map.

These strands transcend whether or not we’re still on speaking terms, whether or not we’re still who we were, whether or not we are on the planet. We weave and we weave and the love just moves.

My friend Grace wrote a piece that inspired this blog post. Here’s a segment:

Sometimes you miss every man you’ve ever loved and

The swing set in the backyard from when you were a kid

The way your little sister’s laugh sounded when you pushed her

Towards the sky

But then you remember

It’s love itself : it’s just a reflection of love itself

They’re here now and so is the swing set and she never stopped laughing

Cutting bangs and dyeing my hair blonder

I had this haircut when I was young”

We weave the strands between past and future, every lover and friend and location. We weave the strands with our past selves and who we will be. 

Right before that final chord in “A Day in the Life,” a chorus of string instruments plays. It’s not like you’d expect- they’re all playing different notes and ascending in their scales at different points in time.

It’s chaotic and it’s beautiful, this wall of sound and overlapping orchestras.

It feels like love to me. It feels like existence to me. It’s this big mess of history and life and people, all happening at once in the grand scheme of things.

And then that chord plays, and I look at the edge of my universe now. I watch the love swirl and move. I watch the strands expand and intertwine. I try not to miss it because I know that nothing’s gone. 

It’s all still here- time and life and memory.

That’s a lot of love.

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