In these COVID days, I have been thinking a lot. I have been thinking about friendships and family. It is funny. Sometimes friendships begin because your teacher’s seating chart places you next to someone who turns out to be “a kindred spirit” as Anne of Green Gables so aptly expressed it. Sometimes you meet in a shared extra curricular activity like sports, scouts, dance, band, or youth group. Naturally, your siblings (with any luck at all) — and their spouses are friends as well.
But really, some friendships begin because they are siblings or cousins. For me, I had cousins for 5 years before I had brothers. I was the first born on both sides of my family. My parents adored their siblings and their children, as did I. So my first cousins (all 45 of them) and their spouses, and their children, and in some cases, their children’s children are my forever friends.
You had better believe, in this day and age that when of them cries, I taste salt. When one of them hurts, I want to comfort them. I learned from my cousins and brothers what love, loyalty, and friendship really mean.
Until I breathe my very last breath, this tribe gives me strength. This tribe modeled for me what a true tribe is. Thus, the friendships I formed outside of my family follow a similar pattern. Constancy and seeing the best in each other helps cement friendships and family. These tribes know my heart. They know my shortcomings and stumbles. Of course they do. But they also know my good points.
Today I am especially grateful for cousins. I pray that you have tribes who affirm you exactly when and how you need it.