(Los Angeles, CA) In life, it is inevitable that change occurs. People grow up, people fall in love and marry, and people move away. For one woman, this fact felt most palpable with her cousin’s recent move.
Growing up, the woman was blessed with having eight cousins around… Eight cousins as playmates (10 in all, including herself and her brother), who were within 13 years of each other. Holidays and vacations were extended times of bliss as the pack of kids ran from room to room, playing games, making a mess, and having a marvelous time.
However, one cousin in particular, with proximity and closeness in age, grew to be a sister in those precious young years. And perhaps unlike all younger sisters, she was mostly blessing and very little curse.
Being the younger of two siblings herself, the woman was happy to have her younger cousin as devotee and No. 1 fan. (Ed. Note: Level of devotion and others may have been inflated for storytelling purposes. Go with it.) Her cousin valued her taste in fashion, complimenting her on her shoes and purses and asking for clothes the woman outgrew. Her cousin also long admired her excellence in ballet and gymnastics, and winning in dance team competitions. They also participated in dance programs together, the woman feeling proud that “Smooth Criminal” paved the way for her cousin’s musical accomplishments.
But more than a follower, her cousin was her teacher. Her cousin was generous with clothes, lending a swimsuit despite it meaning the suit would now be the woman’s to keep. Her cousin was also patient and unselfish, foregoing Carnation ice cream when the woman continued to pout at not getting her toy purchased. And her cousin was young at heart and had no desire to grow up too fast, always choosing to play Gretl during reenactments of “The Sound of Music.”
Most of all, her cousin was her laugh partner. Spending time together meant experiencing joy and laughter in any situation, from an excited trip to buy Rainbow Brite, to reenacting key scenes from “The Princess Bride” and “Three Amigos!” Extended family dinners meant inevitable giggles during pre-meal prayer – giggling to the point of being scolded. Some of the woman’s best memories growing up involved her cousin, including an unforgettable attempt with younger cousins to play Once, a storytelling game. With story prompts for players to either tell true or made-up stories, having only to go by “I once put on lipstick and…” as the entirety of the story, made for difficult playing. However, there was no shortage on laughter.
The woman is both sad and excited for her cousin on this new chapter in her life. She bids her fond farewell with much love and devotion, generosity and kindness, and wishes for much joy and laughter with her own family. All her life, she has been stronger than she thinks. In this new adventure, her cousin is ready to fly.