if you can’t tell who’s who, i’m usually the one with less hair, shirtless and/or grumpy.
although we grew up in the same state, we grew up in very different cities. and those miles that separated us seemed to be much larger than they really were when we were very small. fortunately each holiday or birthday or reunion we found one another and stuck together… despite the year difference in our ages. she was the 8th and i was the 9th out of 32 grandkids.
several years running we were cast as mary and joseph during the christmas eve nativity. we sat at the same bigger cousin table in the ramada at our family reunions… but it wasn’t the “biggest cousin” table. that table we never seemed to graduate to. i remember feeling so very sad at becky’s baptism* because i didn’t want to wait to be baptized. the next year, after my baptism, we sat in the back of my granny’s cadillac. our tights covered legs crossed, as we spoke in “rich” accents, pretending granny to be our chauffeur. growing up i’d be jealous of how great her high school was at everything. her one year ahead wisdom helped me through college. she gave me my first real tour of byu… showing me important things like the creamery and zions’ bank. we eagerly waited to find out our finals schedule that year so we could buy our plane tickets home together. even when becky was married her apartment was my apartment.. well at least until she got home from her honeymoon.
she was always close enough that i could borrow a car and hang out on a friday or saturday night. her two oldest began to equate me with pizza because that is what we ate if i babysat them. her house stored my boxes when i went away. and when they moved my boxes moved. and i came back, at least once a year to see my best friend cousin. and when becky decided she needed to do something major (it wasn’t major enough to have gone to college on a full ride scholarship, to have graduated early and to have 4 kids!) i ran a 1/2 marathon with her.
she was there when i tried on my wedding dress, she convinced me that i was ready to get married, she arranged my tulips. and still, she is the first person i ever think to call. somehow closer than a best friend and more like a sister than a cousin. i always thought our kids could be little best cousins too… but it looks like her kids will be able to babysit mine…
happy birthday best cousin!
*we are generally baptized at the age of 8.