Think of someone you’re close to.
What comes to mind?
A word? A feeling? A smell?
I technically have one sibling, a brother. However, in a lot of ways, there are two people who could fill the sibling position in my life. (A highly coveted spot I assure you.) My cousin Melissa has been with me through childhood and into adulthood, and even though 200 miles was typically between us during our formative years, she’s the person in my life who has most closely filled the role of sister. The girl who wore watching outfits with me. The girl who got the same Barbie for Christmas with me. The person who let me know what to expect in first grade before I got there.
It was hard being separated by all those I-70 miles, but we knew the next major holiday couldn’t take THAT long to get here, right?
Then we actually got to be kinda-sorta neighbors. Well, neighbors for us.
For almost two years, only thirty minutes was between us, and it was so great. Melissa would tell you it was surreal. It didn’t feel like it could be true. I would finally be close enough that I could pop by her house, steal her food, feed her toddler candy, and watch her movies. I could finally treat her as a true sister, annoying her and everything!
But then, it changed.
I was at a point in my life where I needed to move on professionally, and she was selfless enough to support me, despite wanting me to stay. So before we knew it, I was out of northwest Kansas and on the other side of the state.
It was the best place for me, and still is. But it’s been six months, and I still miss her. And unlike when I was 7, major holidays don’t always mean I get to see my sister. It’s just a huge reminder of how much I miss her when I don’t…
I got off the phone with this woman earlier today, and it was a long conversation. It covered family updates, work issues, three year-old daughter intrusions, morning sickness, and a lot of other things that can’t really be categorized into any specific topic.
In short, we had one of those chats that didn’t have an agenda or a point. We just wanted to exist with each other; take up a couple hours of time on this earth and be connected.
And I love that about her. I love that about a good friend. Sometimes, you don’t need to make sense, sometimes, you’re just passing the time, and it’s just being in the (virtual, at times) presence of a person who makes you feel glad to be you. Those people who can make you remember all the reasons you don’t suck and remind you of some of the ways you can suck less.
And she does make me glad that I’m me- a person I’m not the biggest fan of at times.
I hope I make her feel that way about herself because she’s great. She’s a pregnant wife, mom, print shop aficionado, Christian, craft queen, pianist, hair stylist, short order chef, psychologist, relationship specialist, and… my sister. And somehow, despite all those other hats she constantly wearing, she’s never dropped the ball on me.
I kinda like her a little bit. Well, enough to give her a blog post. (Also, I’m cheap – and late – when it comes to birthday gifts, ha!)
So, moral of the story, have those phone conversations that feel like a meandering walk. Don’t underestimate the importance of your presence to someone. Sometimes, it’s not about productivity, but the opposite. But sometimes when you’re being “unproductive” that’s when you’re making the most progress.
Until next time or not, I’m still Cait.