This entry again is not all about me, but this one is about someone I hold so dear – my cousin.
Out of the dozens of cousins I have, this cousin is the closest to my heart. Maybe because it has something to do with our age, since I am just a year ahead of her. She was the only child of my Mom’s brother, so that technically makes her my first-degree cousin.
Back in the early 90’s, when we barely knew anything in the world, I still remember sharing my “eggnogs” and donuts to her. We kiss at our mom’s command (ewww), we tickle each other and we play doll houses. We visit each other’s homes, if not frequently then maybe every month or two. In short we were inseparable.
I really can’t pinpoint at which age we grew distant of each other. I never even know how I came to a realization that we are rarely seeing each other. I can’t even remember when was the time that I became aware of her father (my uncle) and her mother’s separation. No they are not annulled but they are not just living with each other. I didn’t even remember my reaction on the issue, nor what I felt about it. Did I even have a reaction in the first place? All is seems so vague, but what I can surely tell is that I just knew that she had a broken family.
I grew up apart from her, not even seeing her once a year. Worse is, the family of her mom and my side of the family also grew hostile towards each other. With heavy hearts both parties still act civil when chance let them meet. But I was oblivious to that until now.
I was oblivious. WHAT A LAME EXCUSE?! It has always been my excuse these past few days. I mean if I haven’t spoken to her on the night of February 4, I wouldn’t have realized what a jackass I’ve become.
You see, she grew up being compared to me. She grew up running after me. She grew up doubted by her mom. She grew up without her dad. She grew up alone. And I grew up with an exact opposite experience.
I felt so bad. What happened to us? Where have I been? I tried to console her with all my might but I can’t. I have no right. Because I was just like her dad who left her behind and again I am being a hypocrite.
Then I remembered. Now it is very clear to me. The reason why her father, my uncle, is not so friendly to me was because I hated him too and he knew it. He can’t talk to me easily because he knew what runs in my mind. That he’s the reason why my cousin and I drifted apart, that he is an irresponsible father that caused all the pain of my cousin - the one he abandoned.
It was painful seeing my cousin cry her tears not even knowing what to do. One thing I realized was, one of the greatest pains in life is watching someone who’s dear to you but not being able to do something.
I watch her, broken but still can smile. I tried to make jokes as to reduce the tension. I watch her cry and it hurts. Life for her isn’t fair, and here I am still complaining about the life I have. If I would make a contrast between me and her, maybe I got lucky in some ways BUT I am nothing compared to her strength. I was quite happy to know that she did become strong but it’s just sad that she has to undergo all of those treacherous experiences.
It’s a relief that we are starting to clear things up, that we are slowly bringing back our closeness just like the 90’s. I sure wish this time, we won’t be apart.