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August 9, 2003

That was the date that The Coopahues were born. It’s Kevin’s last day in Texas, and I think that all of this “moving stuff” is finally starting to sink in. If we’re lucky, we get to have one true friend in our lives. If we’re REALLY lucky, we get two. Some of you may know the kind of person I’m about to describe. If you do, please call them and tell them how much they mean to you.
I’ve always made friends fairly easily. I like to think I’m a nice and a thoughtful person. So, a few years ago, when Kevin and Camille decided that the four of us should hang out, I thought it was a pretty good idea. You see, we had been “blog buddies” for a while, and Camille and Kevin found each other through the magic of the internets. One thing led to another, and after many beers and several “Will and Grace” game nights, the Coopers moved in next door. At first, there was “fence mail”, but we decided that wasn’t good enough. So, one hot summer day, Kevin and Josh pulled a “Kool-Aid” and tore out part of the fence and put in a gate. Our house was their house, and their house was ours. I knew my way around Camille’s kitchen as well as I did my own. I was there the day G-Man was born. I was there for birthdays, bumps, and bruises. My family grew, not only by those three wonderful people, but by their families, too. Camille’s mom adopted us. Josh’s parents never fail to welcome us with open arms. But it all started with the Redhead.
Camille is the glue who holds us all together. She was the one who was so insistent that we all get together that first night. Who knew that one night of bowling would launch us into the best friendship of my life? You have to understand (even though I’m pretty sure that’s impossible unless you’re one of the four of us): We’ve shared monumental highs and lows. When one of us is hurting, there is nothing, NOTHING the others won’t do to try to ease the pain. When one of us is happy, we all are. For four years, we’ve moved as a unit. Family vacations take on a whole new meaning when it’s family that you actually want to spend time with. After our first week-long vacation together, we all came home and, instead of saying “See ya later. I’m sick of you”, we all ordered pizza and hung out some more.
Two weeks ago, we called the Coopers to tell them that we were moving. Her first response? “When do you need me to come up and help you pack?” No hesitation. And, of course, she did come up. She spent a week of her life helping me organize mine. I guess the point of all of this is to try to begin to say “Thank You”. But that really doesn’t seem like enough. If the Coopers still lived next door, we would have turned down this opportunity. It wouldn’t have been worth it. But, times change, and where we are is really just geography. No matter how far away we are, we’ll still be right next door in our hearts and minds.
So to Camille and Josh, and in the name of all things Coopahue, we love you. There could never be better friends than you both have been to us. And while we won’t see each other quite as often, we’ll need to remember that distance is just a number, and you’re with us every day in our hearts. Our lives are richer, and I know I’m a better person, because I know you.

4 Responses to “August 9, 2003”

  1. Kevin Donahue Says:

    We are truly blessed, and so much richer than I ever knew we could be.

  2. Camille Says:

    We are just as blessed to have y’all in our lives. Thanks for making me cry! I feel the same way you do about everything, and I don’t think I could’ve written it any better than you did. Its funny, but while I was in the guest room packing, the chorus to Find Out Who Your Friends Are by Tracy Lawrence popped into my head and I thought it was perfect for the four of us.
    You find out who your friends are
    Somebody’s gonna drop everything
    Run out and crank up their car
    Hit the gas, get there fast
    Never stop to think ‘what’s in it for me?’ or ‘it’s way too far’
    They just show on up with their big old heart
    You find out who your friends are

  3. Kevin Donahue Says:

    Amen. And no matter where we are, it’s never “too far”.

  4. Angela Says:

    Ok, I’m not even a Coopahue and this post made me misty. It also made me really glad that I’m having a girlfriends lunch tomorrow.

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