Long ago, I grew up on a ranch with more cousins than livestock running around. Lucky for us, there was always a cousin our own age to play with. The cousin that was my age was named Allen. When I was twelve, my family moved away from the ranch. For years, we wrote to each other. I wrote all about how I was a cheerleader during 7th grade, played volleyball my 8th grade year, and how we now went to school in Washington, but went to church in Idaho. Interesting stuff, when your town is right on the border of two states.
Allen wrote to me about all the youth group hikes and campouts that he participated in, as well as the weight group he was in every year, in wrestling. Although the move was good for our family, I sure missed life on the ranch, swimming with my cousins in a dead-cow-infested pond.
Years passed, and we saw each other again when we were about 20 years old. Unfortunately, the circumstances surrounding that visit were very sad, since we were at his dad's funeral.
A year or two later, during my last summer at BYU, Allen came up to start school. We hung out with each other that summer, and it was fabulous. It was so nice to have my childhood best friend back!
After I graduated, I didn't see Allen for years and years. I got married. He got married. We both had kids, and yet, we had lost track of one another. We became friends on facebook, so we had some communication, but we still hadn't managed to get together again. Then, right after Kimble was born, when we were still in the hospital undergoing heart surgeries, I got a message from Allen and his wife Monique, saying that they were in town (her family is from here) and they wanted to stop by. They were able to come to the hospital for about an hour, where we visited with one another. Because circumstances of hospital life were hard, it was an amazing boost to my spirit, to see them.
Now I bring you to this point. We were finally able to get all of his family, and all of my family, together. Yay for generations of cousins!
It was so great to have them stop over for the night, on the way to visit Monique's family. It's fun to see The Husband and Allen get acquainted and to hear Heath say "He's such a great guy!" It's amazing to get to know Monique and find out that we have so much in common. As much as I love having people visit, it's ten times better when it's family!!