what matters most

“Where there is love there is life.” -Mahatma Gandhi

The start of 2018– the month of January– was a tumultuous time for me. I went through a major breakup, got sick/lost weight, and moved out of the apartment I shared with Orchestra Teacher. Then I got a massive wake up call, literally. Cousin JT called me in the morning and she never calls me when I’m at work. I picked up and she was in tears. I knew immediately something was very, very wrong.

I listened to her detail everything that was going on and I was so stressed for her because even though she’s my cousin, she’s more like a sister to me. Basically, she told me that her baby was coming and it was too early. She kept saying, she’s not ready and the baby’s not ready.

I had been planning to come see her for her baby shower, instead I was going to see her at the hospital. The last time I was this stressed was two years ago when my mother and uncle both went through cancer at the same time. I packed my bags, hopped on a plane, and flew home.

I spent a good chunk of the weekend in the hospital with her while she was on bed rest (holding on as long as she could). We didn’t do anything special; we spent most of the time talking. We did this a lot when we were younger and just hanging out, except this time the situation had a lot more gravity. People came and went and when the weekend was over, I flew back to Chicago.

Despite the increasing distance, she and her unborn baby were constantly on my mind. The answer for why is quite simple, it’s because I love them. I don’t even know the baby yet, but it doesn’t matter. Her baby, like her, is my family and they’re so important to me. I realize that love is intangible, but so moving in its intensity.

Sometimes, I forget that romantic love in a relationship is only a part of the love equation we experience in life. Even if I’ve failed to find Mr. Right, I am lucky to have an abundance of love from family and friends. I took a small detour that weekend to visit Mrs. H (and Baby S), Mrs. J, and Mrs. C (and Baby A). It was wonderful to see the girls again, wonderful to just bask in the familiarity of being with my closest friends. We’ve known each other for more than a decade now, and we’ve lived through some of our best and worst moments together. I’m so, so thankful they’re in my life.

And I’m so, so happy to welcome the newest member of my family into my heart.

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