When I first moved to Dallas, one of the first people I met was Tamara Braun. She and I were both invited over to our new bishop’s house for dinner one Sunday after church. At the time, I was blissfully naive that such a thing was probably a setup by the bishop’s wife. I just thought it was nice to get to know someone who was also new to the ward.
Fast forward a few months and a guy named Adam moved in to our ward. At that time, I was the elder’s quorum president, and I remember being impressed with him and thinking what a great asset he would be to our quorum. He stood out in stark contrast to the “bug boys” who were there for the summer to pillage and plunder all they could. Before anyone knew it (and quite surreptitiously – I assure you), Adam and Tamara were dating – then engaged – and before any of us knew it we were helping Adam move into their new apartment in Carrollton.
Several months passed without much thought of the Brauns. I figured I probably wouldn’t see much of this great couple ever again, as was fairly common when making the transition out of the singles ward and into the world-of-the-marrieds. However, due to a mutual friend and a group dinners at the Canary Cafe, the friendship was rekindled between myself and the Brauns – partly due to my small obsession with American Idol (see various posts from 2006-2010). So, partly due to Simon Cowell, I was seeing a lot of the Brauns and we struck up a great friendship once more.
The Brauns were there through thick and thin. Most particularly, they were there for the day when I plopped down on their couch and described a new girl in the ward who was clearly “out of my league”, but who I was trying hard to muster the courage to take a shot at. Many pep-talks and dating-advice-sessions later, that girl who was totally out of my league became my wife. Not that the credit is due to any single individual or entity, but the Braun family surely earned their portion.
The Brauns were one of our only/early “couple” friends. We got to enjoy their war stories, and they enjoyed ours. We got to love on their three beautiful daughters as they came along, and they got to love on our son when he was born. Heck, we even share the same OBGYN, for crying out loud! (On their recommendation.)
Why the sentimental history lesson? Well, the Brauns are leaving us and moving to Arizona.
Tonight we got to say goodbye to them, and it really sucked. I suppose since I spent most of the last decade being the one moving away from others – and looking forward to where I was headed – I haven’t had many experiences of being the one left behind to pick up the pieces, which feels totally different.
While I’ve been trying to tell myself that, in our connected world, we have so many ways to stay close even while far apart, it still hurts a bit to know that a couple of people who were such a big part of our life won’t be a stone’s throw away anymore. No more quickie trips to InO. No more American Idol watching parties (as if it’s worth watching anymore). No more watching our kids play together as we solve each other’s problems and share our personal dilemmas.
We’ve penciled in some time to see them next year, and they reassure us they are returning in 2-3 years, but it still stinks.
However, Arizona people, your state is gaining the world’s coolest family. Good luck you guys, and we’ll see you soon!