Lydia, Lyds, Lyddie, Lyddie Loo,
When we were little we were completely oblivious to how lucky we were. We probably just assumed it was common to have cousins growing up around the same age. As we got older we realized that not everyone has that. There are gifts that come along with having a cousin who is also your best friend.
I was looking at a journal my mom had when I was little. Inside, she wrote many facts or quotes of the funny things I would say or do. This one brought a smile to my face:
“Haley & cousin Lydia play very well together, but occasionally “fight” over toys. We observed their differences in situations like that: Lydia when frustrated uses her ACTIONS while Haley uses her MOUTH ! Lydia quickly pushes Haley or grabs the object. Haley talks/yells “Hey, I had that toy! Stop!…”
It is also funny to look back and reminisce about our little rare arguments and that they began very young. We grew up as best friends, cousins, and mainly treated each other like sisters. We have an unbreakable bond, no matter how long it has been since we've seen each other.
We have been through everything together, and some things I don't think I could have done without you.
To start, I can't imagine not having you with me at our family parties, and dealing with some of the craziness alone.
It is bittersweet to realize that someday we will be looking back at the pictures of us as flower girls, and compare them to our own wedding/bridesmaid photos.
Pool parties, mall trips, sleepovers at the grandparents houses, New year's eve, 4th of July at the lake, laughing while horribly singing the 12 days of Christmas, singing A LOT (but usually 2 different songs at the same time.) All, that I get to experience with you.
More sappy, but true, I could not have spoken at Papa's funeral without you right there with me holding my hand the entire time.
Our relationship is perfect. We can be each other's sunshine, rock, and shoulder to lean on. As goofy as we are, if hell breaks loose in our lives we are right there to help each other pick up the pieces.
Here are some more memories growing up with you:
But we are very different in many ways as well.
You definitely can not watch as many musicals as I can, or listen to show tunes without wanting to poke your eyes out :-) But I most definitely can not enjoy snowboarding or skate boarding like you do :-)
I have always admired, and sometimes envied your confidence on a stage (or in front of people in general.) However, you always inspire me to want to leave my comfort zone.
I can not even begin to imagine the amount of dedication, passion, patience, and pure talent is put into your artwork. I can draw some lovely cats and flowers..but that is about it.
You are an abolsute perfectionist, but it goes along with your creative eye. You have a gift, and you were born with it. I would love to see the world through your eyes, but since that is impossible, I am grateful I have your paintings, sketches, and photographs to turn to. I hope your work becomes famous someday, and I can not wait to see what else you create in your lifetime.
When we were looking at colleges I remember saying I wanted a rural or suburban setting, preferably down south. I remember you saying you wanted to go "anywhere in Boston."
I felt like the odd one of the pack. The one cousin who did not wish to go to college in the city. I remember telling my mom "No way am I going to apply in Boston. I hate the city." I wanted to be different; I wanted to take my own routes and not copy what the majority of our family wanted.
So now it is ironic :-)
That the "fit" I needed for excelling in a Social Work career would have me beside you in Boston after all. We will be exactly 15 min away, just as we are now. I can not wait to start this adventure this Fall knowing you'll be right by my side.
I feel like each year, we become closer and express more gratitude for each other.
This year, I feel like our relationship took a huge leap. We treasure our time together, and our honesty and openness with each other is refreshing. This year, it really stood out to me just how much we care for each other. This is a permanent relationship that will last forever. Cradle to grave.
I love you so much Lyddie Loo, and I hope you have the happiest birthday.
Congrats on adulthood! xo
A Boston social work student, using writing for healing. Sharing the peaks and valleys of an empath's mental health journey.