So one of the best parts about Mexico was seeing my family again. I see my father's side a few times throughout the year, but the few people that comprise my late mother's side live across the country. I'm lucky to see them once a year, and it takes over five hours and $500 to make it happen.
I grew up with my two cousins and usually no more than two days would pass without me seeing them. They were more than cousins, they were closer to siblings. My oldest cousin has been like a sister to me, complete with her hand-me-downs, me bugging her and driving her crazy and looking up to her as she hit life's milestones ahead of me. My youngest was like a little brother who drove me less crazy than the one I had. He and I would exclaim, "Harold!" "Martha!" and then embrace in a dramatic hug.
We went on small vacations together. My aunt was like a second mother. She was over at my house growing up all the time. No one needed an invitation. We dropped in on each other constantly. Sleepovers were frequent.
So when the Dude and I checked in, we had hours to wait until our room was ready. We munched on some burgers from the snack bar and waited in the lobby. I didn't know what time they'd arrive and I was antsy to see them.
You can imagine my joy when we found them. Sometimes you don't let yourself think about how much you miss someone until you know you're going to see them any minute. Then your heart starts to dance and time slows down and that first hug fills you with what you've been missing, in my case, for a year and a half.
I'll wax poetic about the food, locations, the room and wedding, but today it's about family. Attending the wedding was sweet and something I've been looking forward to my whole life. Next time I'll see them will probably be for my wedding. I've always been right behind my cousin, and I'm glad she married first. I wouldn't have it any other way. It sort had been a rhyme and rhythm growing up and watching her marry her husband felt right.
I get married in a year. One more reason to look forward to it is I'll see my family again. I used to get bummed out about living far from my brother, and my cousins. Growing up alongside them gave me some of the best childhood memories I could have asked for. I know my children won't know theirs in that same way. It won't be the same. But looking around I've realized that our closeness was special and atypical. It can't be reproduced again for my own family someday.
I've never been good at letting go of the past. But I think in times like these, that's a good thing. The only thing that was missing was my brother. He couldn't make it and without him there, our quartet was incomplete. Again, I'll wait for my wedding for that to happen. It won't be the same, but it'll be sweet.