I think the first picture here defines the two of us, for those first 10 years of our lives. I remember us being like Nadia and Jayme: completely inseparable and void of anything but the laughter and playing of two girls who seemed to live more in a make believe world of house and school. The sleepovers where we would lay in the big bed on the bottom of my bunk or the one’s where we’d attempt to spend ALL night in the barn (after dressing up in all the clothes in the chest at the end of your bed).
I will never forget birthday parties that we had, each knowing the
“awkwardness” it probably would hold as we went to two different schools. But we went, nonetheless. Or family functions where we’d escape into our haven of Many Books and petty, girlish conversation… where anyone listening would surely know how to define the female species.
Life happened, and so did we. It’s funny how change can hit you in a way that it abruptly seems to turn every thing upside down. I think that while you started to grow up, I started to grow away. So much of my life turned into being someone that nobody else was. I thought that was the only way that I could fully experience anything. And in doing so, we grew apart… in ways that I had never thought we would. For many years our friendship sat in the archives of what had come and gone… and I don’t think either of us spent too much time dwelling on it. We had our own lives… and we had grown beyond, or apart, from a cousinly bond.
My first year of college I was so nervous and terrified but the only one who knew it from me was my Dad, as I cried while he drove away. My mom figured that because you and I were both in Calgary, we would be okay. Even though I don’t think we had had a conversation in a very long time… but I wanted it so bad, I just didn’t know how to do it.
I remember the day I made dinner for you and met Steve for the first time. I was so nervous because I wanted so badly to meet you where you were “at” rather than stand away. It took a roommate to tell me that you were, and always will be, my family… and that nothing would ever diminish that. Which in a sense, I guess, is true.
I remember when I became a Christian, for real, that year… I knew there were things that needed to change, but some of them were out of my control. I learnt very quickly that in a lot of cases, I needed to put everything in His hands and things would work out in ways I couldn’t even fathom.
Then you happened, only this time in a major way. I can’t begin to understand God’s timing, neither do I want to, but who knew it would take 22 years of a pretty bumpy journey, a lot of forgiveness, mother’s gentle prompting, miles away from home, and a couple of humble hearts to find what I think we had all along?
I love having you here in Calgary… even though it took us a few years to really take advantage of it! I love our classes and talks; I love eating your dinners and cooking you dinners; I love talking with the man you love and playing games with the two of you. I just appreciate you in more ways than I ever thought I would… and more as the days go by.
I can’t wait til we can say “I remember that cousin who became my friend, a few times.” Family by right; friends by choice… or something like that.