When I was younger, my home life wasn't really conducive to having friends. My only friend for most of my life was my cousin. We were only a few months apart in age, but we felt like twins. Finished each others' sentences, would text the same things to each other at the same time, could sense when the other was in pain or just needed a pick me up. We invaded each others' lives and were the last person we each said "I love you" to at the end of the day.
A little over a year ago, she was killed in a car wreck along with her husband. But there are times I still get those feelings. Still want to grab my phone and send a text. Sometimes, I've actually sent the text and then I wonder who the person is on the receiving end. They've never responded. Not sure what I'd do if I did get a response.
I miss her more than I've ever missed anything. Even her faults. Like when she'd take over my house and force me to do something I didn't want to do. Joining dA was one of those take overs. She even bought me my first subscription. Or how she'd get really loud when she was drinking and we'd have to tell her to shut up because she was being rude and then she'd yell at us for being rude and yelling at her. Her car was always a disorganized mess and she'd blame it on the kids but she was always a disorganized mess. It drove me crazy on more than a few occasions.
But she never said no to an adventure. Not even when she got the shock of her life and found out she was pregnant. I always promised her that no matter what, I'd be there for her and for the little tike. She was scared, but I still remember her calmly telling her husband that he needed to make the lady in the next room shut the fuck up before she jumped outta the bed and made her shut up. She wasn't a needy pregnant woman in labor either. Well, except for needing help being readjusted absolutely every time her husband or I sat down. We worked in shifts during her labor.
My cousin was never a girlie girl. She didn't do frills, hated pink and kept her hair short so it was easy to style. She wore a chain wallet and had tattoos. Her mouth was worse than a sailor's and she kept damn near everyone at arms length. But she ended up with a daughter that wanted pigtails and fancy braids, tea time with stuffed animals and pink tutus with every outfit. And never once did she complain about it.
In the short time that she was here with her daughter, she instilled all these wonderful traits in the little girl you've all come to know as the Princess. I see my cousin in her every day when we Face Time and she beats me at 500 Rummy. And when she does something so horribly bad but grins with half her smile (okay, so that's a family trait from my grandfather that we all have, but let's just say it was passed down from my cousin).
But more than any other time, I see my cousin in the Princess when she's being herself. When she's helping other people because they need help and she has the time to give. Or when one of the kids on the playground doesn't have someone to play with and she walks over and starts chatting them up. Or when a passerby jokingly asks for a bite of her popsicle and she offers to run in the house and grab them a fresh one. What flavor do they want? Grape, blue or red. Or when she shows just how kind a heart she has.
So I may not have my cousin here with me anymore, but I've got the opportunity to show a little girl just how amazing her mom was and hopefully help her grow into a woman that's even better than the original.