(19-03-01) Melissa’s Visit

As children, my cousin, Melissa, and i spent a lot of time together. With only one year difference between us, we naturally gravitated towards each other at family functions, and i have lots of memories of us swimming in lakes, doing each other’s hair during slumber parties, her trying to teach me how to draw cats (and me miserably failing), having racing competitions in her pool, playing Sonic the Hedgehog back when Sega Genesis first came out, and catching fireflies on summer evenings in our mom-mom’s front yard. When i left for college at 17, i severed my contact with much of my family for many years. As a result, Melissa and i had not spent 1:1 time together in close to 25 years – until now.

And let me tell you: Melissa’s mothering nature was exactly what my psyche needed this week.

From bringing me presents that brought soft joy to my head and hilarious confusion to Botas’ curiosity …

… to willingly leaving the room and giving me privacy every single time i had to make a mad dash to the bathroom (and it was a lot!) …

… to massaging my knees and legs when the pain from the magnet vaccine was making me cry …

… to fixing me hot chamomile tea at night to settle my stomach …

… to doing, folding, and putting away my laundry for me while i lay around in bed trying not to move too much …

… to distracting me from my pain with entertaining stories about alpacas, goats, and her charismatic daughter …

… to providing me with company during all my treatment sessions …

… to bringing me heating pads and ice packs and cold water and Saltines and buttered toast and breakfast in bed sometimes even before i knew i wanted/needed those things …

… to watching terrible movies on Netflix together and then laughing at our bad picks …

… to patiently waiting for days before i had the strength to venture outside for a walk around town to look for cool Swap meet finds and eat local Mexican food …

… to helping me find my boyfriend just the right t-shirt to add to his nerd collection …

… to keeping Botas fully distracted and entertained when he was feeling rambunctious, but i was too sick to engage, to the point where he would just pass out next to her from sheer exhaustion …

my cousin was in FULL-ON nurture mode the entire time, and it was probably the only thing that kept me from having a meltdown this week.

Melissa, i love you. Thank you for everything. Botas and i already miss you.