I am in my happy place this week, Asheville, NC…home of the Biltmore estate. But to sweeten the treat, I am here with my cousin, Denise, from Illinois. She came to visit me in my new home state this week. So good for the soul. There is true comfort in spending time with family — my cousin is more like my sister. Dee has known me most of my life, definitely for the parts that matter most.
As a kid I remember my dad taking me over to her house in Chicago. Dee is six years older than me and all I could think was how cool my older cousin was when I was 10 and she was sneaking out of the house to see friends/boys at 16. LOL. As I got older and could drive, it was a regular occurrence that I would drive from the burbs to the city to spend time with her and her family, and as I became a young adult, that visit became a weekend norm. My boyfriend at the time and I would literally go every weekend to spend time with Dee and her then husband, Mark. I watched her kids take their first steps, grow and now marry. She was Matron of honor at my wedding and shares a great relationship with my hubby. There’s really no other relationship in my life that is like the one I share with Dee.
I am terrible at keeping in touch. I don’t like to chat on the phone, though I am slightly addicted to Marco Polo these days, which makes things better. I don’t reach out to those I love probably like I should. But time doesn’t pass for Dee and I. When she was diagnosed with cancer a few years ago, on a plane I went. When her mom, my aunt Jan passed, on a plane I went. I move and here she is to share in our new home and life…we show up for the important stuff. That’s what family does. And we laugh about old times and inside jokes. And there are so many of those.
I have been so happy to just sit and talk and share with Dee these last few days. To be able to share with her a place here in NC that I have come to love has been so fun. I am already starting to feel sad about her going home. I wish I could freeze time. For now we will just make the most of what we have and start planning the next visit.