And very, very grateful that God blessed me with oodles of them!
Next to her siblings, a girl's cousins are her first friends. Those bonds forged at Grandma's house from the day we are born are never broken.
Such is the case with this group of fabulous gals that are my House cousins. Our love for each other began at Grandma Hazel House's country home, and we share so many memories of our childhood together. Exploring Grandpa's barn, hunting real Easter eggs in the tall pasture grass, balancing on the rickety old wooden trailer, whispering and giggling on the stairsteps of the farmhouse, filling our tummies with Grandma's signature sugar cream pie. Memories of Christmas Eves when every square inch of Grandma's house would be filled with family and food, steaming up her windows with the warmth inside.
No one understands our family quite like these girls do. Those common blood ties are interwoven through us, weaving us together forever. Over the years life pulled us different directions and we drifted physically apart, busy with our own lives and jobs and families, stretching those threads. But never, ever breaking them. And time and time again those threads have pulled us back toward each other in times of celebration and tragedy. Together we've laughed hysterically over nothing, sobbed through unimaginable heartbreaks, celebrated milestones, prayed each other through life-threatening illnesses, and buried those closest to our hearts. Ours is an unconditional love that runs deep, way below the surface into our souls...a strong constant life force that words or distance or time cannot overcome.
As I've gotten older, I've come to appreciate my cousins more and more. They are my extended family, my peers with whom I travel through life. My cousins understand our family and where we come from like no one else ever will. I may not see them often or even talk to them more than a few times a year, but they are a constant and a part of who I am. Come what may, that will never change.
Thank you, God, for blessing my life with this beautiful bunch of girl cousins!
They were and always will be...
...my first friends.