There are few people in the world who will remember you as a kid. Your parents and grandparents, of course, and siblings, naturally. Some choice friends, maybe. But what happens when your grandparents and then your parents have passed. Your sibling is a boy and you are a girl, and things were just different in the perspective of growing up as you knew it. And now you are getting up there in years and feel far from and have trouble remembering the little kid you used to be from way back when.
Then you go to a wedding, and there she is. Your cousin. The cousin who rode two buses from Trenton and wound up on your doorstep on a hot July morning at 9 am with a shopping bag stuffed with clothes for her week stay at your house. The cousin who spent the summer with you chasing boys, playing card games, swimming in the pool and talking deep into the night about nothing at all that meant everything in the world at the time. Who spent each and every holiday with you. Who sat outside on the steps of your grandparents row home in their Polish neighborhood sharing your hopes and dreams, talking about boys and eating penny candy without a care in the world except when the holiday dinner would be ready and whether Grandmom made her famous lemon meringue pie. That cousin whose mom was your mom’s sister and best friend. Whose mom was your godmother. And she is the soul sister who knows you better than most.
Years have passed since you’ve last seen her, and yet you pick up where you left off like it was yesterday. That cousin who makes you laugh so hard you cry and raises a glass with you as you reminisce about the puny, stupid little kids you used to be and the games you played and your mutual weirdnesses, including boys. You joke about your families and remember things you thought you had forgotten long ago. You spend the night head to head talking about this one and that one, and you are kids all over again. No one knows your history quite like she does, and no one ever will. You connect with your past like a time machine, and there is comfort and coziness in the feeling of being back where you used to be way back when in your mind.
She is your number one. No matter what has happened in between nor how far away you live, she is the one who knows you best. She’s the one who can make you belly laugh til you cry than sob like a baby when its time to say goodbye, not really knowing when you’ll see her again because distance is the enemy. She’s the one who will always be connected to your heart like no other. She’s my “Cuz.” And I love her with all my heart. XOXO