Happy Birthday Alisha


Twenty-two years ago, Alisha was born into this world, most likely screaming her face off and terrifying the doctors and nurses.

My first memory of Alisha's existence is sitting at the table in my Grandpa's kitchen.  My mom was getting her haircut by a family friendly who was asking after Alisha's mom.  My mother made a comment along the lines of, "She can't seem to stop getting pregnant! She turns around and BAM she's pregnant again!"  I looked up and asked, "Is Aunt Lisa pregnant?"  My mom quickly shushed me.

As a child, Alisha was the most annoying thing on the history of this planet.  Five and a half years younger than me, I couldn't quite understand why she was so babyish (um, because she was five and a half years younger than me might be the reason).  She loved to play with Barbies and she couldn't smile in a picture to save her life.  Trying to take a family picture was guaranteed to spout tears because all of the adults would just beg her to smile normal.  Her face in pictures looked terrified, disgusted, angry, surprised but never the face of a smiling, healthy, happy child.

I don't know if I can pinpoint where our relationship changed.  I started seeing her as a person and not my annoying younger cousin.  It doesn't take long for any one meeting Alisha for the first time to be infected by her bubbly personality and warmth.

Alisha won over my grumpy grandpa.  While living in New York, she visited us twice. The excitement Grandpa felt knowing Alisha was coming was amazing to watch.  My grandfather loves her more than he loves me.  Every phone call, he asks me how she is, what's she doing right now in this moment, is she dating anyone? ("Why isn't anyone dating her babe? She's so beautiful!")  She makes him laugh; she makes everybody laugh.  When he came in last month to visit, he insisted we didn't tell her so that he could surprise her.

I find it hard to trust people with myself completely.  I think I hold back a little of my "true self" to avoid being so vulnerable.  Not with Alisha.  She gets 100% of me at full force.  I love her for that.

A little while ago, I broke down while driving in my car.  Speaking with Alisha was the only thing I knew wanted.  I called her and started spewing all of the things I thought were going wrong in my life.  She remained calm, told me she loved me, and demanded I pick her up on my way home.

She hopped in my car and threw her arms around my shoulder as I bawled and bawled and bawled.  I drifted down the street to my house.  She ran upstairs to my parents, warning them and grabbing me a glass of water as I rushed past them and face-planted into my pillow.

We sat there for hours.  She boosted me up until I was finally able to sit up straight.  It was a school night and she didn't once mention that she had to drive 30 minutes back, had homework to do, or needed to make preparations for the new day.  She just sat there with me and hugged me and held my hand, because that's who she is.  She gives herself and her heart so willingly.

In a notebook, she encouraged me to write all of my thoughts down so I could straighten them out.  I jotted down some things and laid back on my bed.  She took the notebook from me and started doing some writing of her own.  When she later left, I checked the page.  In beautiful calligraphy she wrote this note: "Jen, you are enough."

It's not the last time I cry and it won't be the last time I cry on Alisha's shoulder.  The gift of her friendship she's entrusted me with is the most valuable thing I possess in this world.

So Happy Birthday to my Soul Mate, my baby cousin, my best friend.  I look up to you, younger one.  You have taught me how to truly love.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Follow @ Instagram

Back to Top