I need to tell y'all about my Cousin. I know, with her up here she probably won't see this - and I'm kind of glad. You see, while I'm pretty good at letting folks know I care, that they matter - I'm not so good any more at telling you HOW MUCH you matter, how special you really are. I don't know why - but there you have it.
But enough of that - let me tell about this amazing woman.....
Our mothers were sisters. I say were because her mother passed when she was 8 years old. But Mama Vi took her responsibilities seriously - plus she just loved S to pieces, so we all stayed fairly close.
I am the oldest child in my immediate family. But I never felt like it. S was always my big sister. There are untold numbers of photos with us, standing or laying together, her with a protective arm around me. She has been my savior for as long as I can remember.
Her daddy moved her and the family to Florida when she was 13. She came to visit a few times, even came to stay with us during some tough times - but it all boiled down to her in Florida and us in Northern Indiana. You guessed it - we drifted. She married and had 2 children. I married. About 13 years ago she finally made it back up north to visit family. She stayed with us a few days and it was like we had never been apart.
Next thing you know we're going on vacation together. Then - I decided to come visit on my own. It was sitting on the beach while visiting her that I realized I had to get a divorce. She was the one I talked it over with. She had been down the same path I had and I have always trusted her advice.
When I finally left - within 5 months I was living in St. Pete. Her family took me in like I had always been a fixture. Her children call me Aunt Tammi because no matter what the paperwork says - S is my sister.
Over the past 10 years she has held me when I cried of a broken heart, listened to me ramble about the next exciting adventure, watched me find jobs (over and over again) and counciled me when I was confused. (ok - that last part seems to be a lot more than I care to admit.) Never has she judged me. She loves me for just who and what I am.
Oh - we are as different as two people can be. She is so practical, responsible, careful. Not to mention she is the most independent person I have ever met. But she also treasures family. She's a Mom, a Grandma, a Sister, a daughter.
She knows me better than anyone in this life. She knows how I think (or don't depending on the situation). She knows what I love and hate. And still she loves me. Unconditionally.
She flew up here from Florida to help me. As you know, we didn't know how this was all going to pan out. But still - she is here. She was stressing as much last week as I was. Her relief - while different than mine - was just as strong. I know she'd like me to move back down there. It's hard when all we have is the phone. But she understands - again. And now she's helping me rebuild a life up here.
I thank God everyday for her. I don't know what I've ever done to deserve her love and friendship - but I'm more grateful than I can ever say.Posted by Tammi at May 30, 2006 09:03 AM | TrackBack