Where'd we go?

I was thinking about my family last night....my extended family of cousins to be exact. Most of us are grown and married, and a few of us have bitten the proverbial bullet of babymaking! Growing up, my cousins were some of my very best friends. Chris was my first best....we spent all of our time together! ABC (Alisha, Beth, and Chris) were inseperable! We had this crazy friendship, that was loyal and fierce. We loved each other to the point of doing anything for the other. We shared many laughs, skipped school (too often) together, had sleepovers at Chris' first house (eating too much boiled shrimp, mac and cheese, and Hungry Howie's pizza!!!), and understood each other in ways that no one else did.

I moved from Florida to Mississippi in the summer of my Sophomore year. Chris and I kept in touch, he came to visit (surprised me on my first birthday away and even got sleeted in!), we called each other all the time, and he came to pick me up for Spring Break and for a few weeks in the summer. I remember one night when I was feeling really low and missing them(Beth and Chris) a LOT....Chris called and told me to go outside and look at the moon. He told me that he was looking up at the same moon and that I shouldn't feel so far away from him because we were able to look up at the same moon at the same time. It was very sweet....and I have many wonderful memories of our friendship.

After moving, I became very close to another cousin, Devonn. He sort of became my "Chris replacement". He was a HOOT to be around....always making me laugh, stopping by to see me at work, and even taking me on a "date" when the two of us were both single. As with Chris, Vonn and I spent a LOT of time together and got to know each other quirks and foibles better than anyone else....his brother, Damon, is younger....but he was always there too. It was me, Ricky, Daryl, Vonn, and Damon (and then along came our other cousin, Daren, Chris' brother...when HE moved to Ms)....we were a crazy group of friends, who just happened to be cousins. Maybe we were an oddity....to be family and be so close. To have each other's back no matter what. To not think about what OTHER'S thought about us...we were a happy little group and we chare MANY wonderful memories.

I have many wonder memories of Christmas's at Nanny and Pawpaw's house....seafood dinner on Christmas Eve, Fried turkey on Christmas....opening presents Christmas Eve and all of us kids waiting impatiently for the grownups to finish cleaning up so we could tear into our presents. I remember the first Christmas that WE were allowed to pass out presents...the bonfire, fireworks, stink bombs...the Christmas at Uncle David's that "Ricky hit a chicken!"...."our" Christmas song (Simply, having, a wonderful Christmas time...) and I remember us making a vow to ALWAYS have Christmas like this. I remember us trying to imagine us all grown, and vowing that we would have Christmas together forever....with our husbands/wives/children. We couldn't imagine it ever being any different than it was then.

But look at us now.....

My cousin Damon's first born son was born a few weeks ago and I called to tell him congrats. I am so excited for him and I really wanted to hear his voice. But all I got was voicemail....and never got a phone call back. It made me sad....that although I KNOW what is going on in his life, I am no longer a TRUE part of it. Just an outsider looking in....and hearing about it through the grapevine (or in my case, the phone line!)

Chris and Daren's first borns are on their way.....but I don't know anything other than that. I'm not sure when they are due, or what their names will be.

Devonn was married a year and half ago to a sweet girl named Julie....but I have no idea how they met....I have no idea WHY he decided SHE was the one...I have no idea if and WHEN they want kids....I don't even know where Julie works at.

Now, as I lay in bed last night thinking about them (which I do very often), I was saddened over this simple fact....Time, distance, and circumstance have driven wedges between these relationships that were once so fierce, so protective, and so full of love and happiness. I never dreamed we would be this "far apart", in every way. Even though I rarely see them, these people mean sooo much to me. I think often of how I wish I could talk to them more often....I often wonder how they are doing and if they are really happy in the decisions they've made for their lives. I wish they could know that I, Alisha, am now content and have finally come into my own.....that I am happy. I hope that they are happy too.

I still love them beyond words...these people that hold a piece of my childhood, these people that hold the other half of memories that make me whole....these people who contributed so much to the happiness of my childhood.....I wish there were some way to thank them for the memories....because all these years later, I still have those precious memories to reflect opon and they never fail to make me smile.

Chris, Daren, Vonn, and Damon.......I miss you guys.....I miss the innocence of our childhood, before we were all jaded and hurt over actions of the others......I miss being close enough to pick up the phone and call whenever I wanted to hear your voice....but most of all, I miss the friendship that was once such a defining part of my life.

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