(Originally appeared in my 2003 essay collection Lake Forest Moments)
I had known for nearly a year that my dear friend Diane would be moving as soon as her husband Jim got a job offer. A casualty of the banking industry restructuring, Jim, at 52, was interviewing all over the country. Of course, we hoped they would remain in the Chicago area, but the chance of that seemed less and less likely as the months went by.
So why, when I drove by her house and saw the real estate sign in front, was I not prepared for the overwhelming feeling of loss that the sign represented? I wanted to march over to the sign, pull it up with my bare hands and dump it in the nearest trash can.
Instead I stopped my car about a block down the road, gripped the steering wheel tightly in my hands, and cried.