what is a sister cousin?
well, it’s not a sister-wife. it kind of looks like this:
being a grown up with no siblings, frankly, even lonelier.
except for this: my mom was a master at making sure i stayed connected to my cousins. we spent
a lot of holidays and vacations going to wherever they happened to be. we stayed in each other’s lives because our moms are sisters, and they stayed connected. so, over the years the girls: Kimberly, Teri and Lindsay have called me a “sister” and treated me like it.
but they took it to whole “nutha” level this past week, in celebration of my 40th birthday.
before i say how, please indulge me as i spend a minute on the idea of growing up lonely as an adult – as you lose a parent (which i did several years) you start to realize you’re eventually gonna be the only one left behind in your immediate family.
you are the only person that has that parent-child relationship with a parent that is gone, so no one misses them the same way you do or knows them like you do. it’s very lonely-feeling. you don’t have anyone that is equally dealing with your loss, no one to sit in your specific sadness with. it’s just, really sad.
interestingly, my sister-cousins lost their dad, the year before i lost mine. this gave us definitely a more simliar understanding of each other’s pain and loss. it also, i believe chrystalized our bond. we had walked through the same loss.
this year, when i was about to turn 40 – the girls called and said that they were coming and we were gonna have a sister’s weekend.
as someone with no sisters, i’ve of course, never had one of these. (it’s kind of crazy that in 40 years, we have never done this before) – but they came to town… and boy did we have make a memory!
we started off laughing… and ended up laughing. it went a little something like this:
i checked into our hotel, as they were still on the way. when they arrived, Teri said “oh no, this isn’t how we’re welcoming 40 in!” after 30 minutes of jokes about a hotel that might you rent by the hour, etc. etc. The problem was, that the hotel was across from the general lee museum, but you could SEE Gaylord Opryland from the outside facing door of our hotel/motel room. The girls were not having that. They wanted to go across the street. (i’m not picky, because i was just astounded that they came all the way from louisiana and texas to be with my for 36 hours… didn’t really care where we were). However… I was more than thrilled to send a text to my friend Carla Burleson and ask her husband for help.
JB Burleson (the dad of one of Jackson’s best friends) saved the day… he called the hotel and arranged an amazing rate for a 2 night stay at the Gaylord Opryland hotel. I think my cousin Teri said “I love JB” no less than 20 times and … she was of course not talking about Justin Beiber. Our room was glorious, with a patio overlooking the Cascades conservatory. It just made everything we did more special.
-i had checked out what was going on in nashville and was thrilled to find out the Time Jumpers (kenny sears, dawn sears, vince gill, jeff taylor, joe spivey, larry frankly, paul franklin, ranger doug, andy reiss, billy thomas) were performing at 3rd and Lindsley. We ended up with the most perfect table, and my cousins almost died when they heard the talent in that small room. it’s just ridiculous… but only in nashville!.
-the next day we ate at the pharmacy, which was divine as usual. we shopped in the hillsboro village area. we visited a friend of mine from college, who now works at belmont – and checked out the campus – deciding that at least 3 of our collective children should go to school there one day. dinner at mafiozas where we ran into Thomas Bain (one of my favorite people, that i was thrilled for them to meet), went to see Jordan Reynolds (someone i co-write with occasionally, that i also wanted them to meet) play at The Basement.
-then they left. their gifts were: a clock, a compass in a treasure box, and a welcome sign.
i thought how fitting:
they travelled to see me (compass)
they took the time (clock)
they are my home, my family (welcome sign)
i have never felt so sister-loved…
i might have to write a song about that!