My baby cousin got engaged this past weekend. And yes, I am completely allowed to call her my baby cousin because I was 16 years old when she was born. The first time I met her was at my Sweet 16 party. She was totally tiny and full of hope. She was beautiful. She is beautiful.
Sadly, I don't see my cousins quite as often as I used to, but a lot has changed over time. The photo below is probably the last picture I have with her (she is in the middle, with her oldest sister to the opposite side) and it was taken at my brother/SILs baby shower for my niece. I was pregnant, and my aunt insisted it was going to be a girl. She was one of the few.
That was the last time I saw my aunt and sadly I have no pictures of us together from that day. I probably rushed through my time with her, and somehow didn't get a shot of us together as we normally would. But as I say, time goes on, changes things, and so on and so forth. If you're a regular here you have read a lot about my aunt here in my 'hood. In March it will be three years since she left us. I remember ... and I do it quite often.
But today is for good things. Happy things. Happy thoughts.
I actually had a whole other post in my head and heart for today. A whole bunch of thoughts about being a mother and a wife. And yet - somehow - I drifted to another role in my life. That of cousin, niece. That which was so important to me.
I caught up with a family member's blog today, one I didn't know enough about until her mom told me. This is my husband's cousin's daughter's blog. Did you follow that? I know it's hard. But I saw some of her posts about family. And I want that for my child. I want the memories. I want the songs at random moments. The dancing in the living room. And above all else I want her to know and feel love. And I know that she will. But it also makes me think back to my own. And to what has been lost. And to what I miss. And to why.
And so I think how wonderful for my baby cousin. And I hope that my daughter and I will dance together at the wedding. My husband, too, of course. But I think of the light in my child's eyes as she watches a cousin she has barely gotten to know walk down the aisle in a pretty white dress. And I imagine her dancing with my niece and laughing. Loving. Living.
And I'll miss my aunt terribly. But I'll hope that somewhere - up there - she is laughing and loving us, too.
Congrats, little Foofalah. For that you will always be to me. xox
** I am planning to link up with Pour Your Heart Out today over at Shell's Place. Come by and say hi.**