I have just had the best past two weeks of the year; my cousin Valorae and her handsome boys were here. It was definitely a reunion and we treated it as such, we hugged, we laughed and we just enjoyed each other's energy. When I think of how much my cousin Valorae means to me, I get quite emotional. I feel as if no other woman knows the struggles I have gone through like she does. I can definitely say that my mother has been there for me through many challenges, no doubt, and has been there for me too. But Valorae has LIVED through the same things that I have. When I lost my son, I knew she would understand and KNOW my pain, because she had also lost a son during pregnancy...When I cried for days and wanted to be alone, she was there waiting patiently, knowing that one day I would smile again. We have always had a bond that borders more along the lines of sisterhood, but it has definitely grown over the years since I have become a woman and mother.
She watched me grow up from a feisty yet cute three year old to a mother of two girls myself. When I need advice, when I need a shoulder to cry on, when I need to just share my feelings without the need to censor anything, I think of her. I also think of her when I want to share something that would make us laugh together, and even through the phone, I feel her laughter!
Our time together this summer made me realize just how precious life is and how the people in our lives; especially those who have been there in and out of years can truly have an effect on our hearts. I watched as the girls and her boys just picked up right where they left off almost four years ago, and didn't miss a beat! We went to the beach, we went to some parks, we cooked together, we stayed up late reminiscing and we shared our thoughts on almost everything we could think of. I so love to see her smile! I also treasure how much we have in common and how we tune in to each other so easily.