If you’re lucky, you may have one or two real friends in your life. If the planets align and the gods smile down on you, these friends become your family. You absorb each other’s lives until you are no longer aware of where your life stops and theirs begins. In short, you become one unit.
Such is the case with the Coopahues. Three years ago (almost to the day), we were fortunate enough to have our lives tangle up, and it has been an amazing thing. Believe me when I tell you that these people changed my world. They became our neighbors, our best friends, our right-next-door support network. Forget needing a cup of sugar; we could rely on each other for emergency baby-sitting (or, sometimes, “breakin’ the law”), a shoulder to cry on, poker games, Scrabble, steak dinners…..you name it. After several vacations, I can honestly say that there are no other people on earth that I could spend 7 straight days with, come home, and still want to eat dinner with (which we’ve now done twice). We took San Antonio by storm, laughing almost the whole time. Next up, it was New Orleans, and it’s a minor miracle that the boys survived Bourbon Street. The best, though, were the trips to the islands. We have more memories from those two weeks than most people have to fill a lifetime.
So now, they’re moving. And yes, I’m sad. I’ve shed more than my share of tears over this, but here’s how I figure it: The four of us are standing at a fork in the road, and we just can’t take the same paths. Kevin and I are focusing on expanding our family, which means that we have to, you know, be grown-ups. Camille and Josh (and of course, The Boy) are following their dream and moving back to East Texas. We each face a tough road ahead, but even though I can honestly say that it’s like losing a limb, I know we will all be better people for our choices.
I have been so blessed in my life already. After I got married, I never thought I would ever meet anyone else who “got” me so completely. Then the Coopahues were born. Sure, we’ve maintained our autonomy, but on some days, it’s hard to tell where one of us ends and the others begin. We’re a unit.
So. Good luck, guys, and know that even though we’re not just through the gate, we’re only a party-line phone call away.
After all, it’s really just geography.