My cousin Jamie is moving to Colorado at the end of May.
We were raised up together, constantly together, like sisters with two moms. We had bunkbeds when we were little and would whisper together at night to make each other laugh. We’d spend long hot Florida days playing with the hose or wading in the cool shaded ditch, then resting and watching cartoons in the hottest part of the day before going back out to run around the yard as the twilight dimmed to the deep hazy violet of the shore. We’d fight bitterly and make it up just as quickly, and in those sticky summer days when our school friends lived far away on the other side of town, we were each other’s constant companions.
Her family moved to Michigan a year before mine did, and it was a very lonely year.
In high school we struggled to find identities separate from the other, but we were still always together.
We grew apart some when I went away to West Virginia for college. She didn’t have email yet, and long distance calls are pretty pricey for students. But when I’d be home for vacations we’d have sleepovers and stay up until all hours catching up.
Once I moved home it seemed to be hard to make time to visit. Between our different work schedules and all the other demands of being grown, it was tricky. My move to Ohio did not improve things in this regard. The remarkable thing about it is that when we did manage to see each other, we would chatter away as if we hadn’t ever been separated at all. She was my maid of honor when I married my ex, and if Casey and I were having the kind of wedding which had attendants, I’d ask her again.
And now she’s moving all the way across the country. According to Mapquest, it is 1225 miles from Toledo to Denver. She’s got friends out there, so she won’t be alone. The economy is great in Colorado, so she’ll be able to find opportunity. And she never liked Michigan any more than I did. So this is a wonderful thing for her to do and I’m very happy for her.
But I am going to miss her very much.