I have a cousin. SUPRISE! Kidding. . . she’s my only girl cousin who is my age (I have 3 other girl cousins- both under the age of sixteen). We were never particularly close- we went to the same schools and everything but we are and grew up VERY different to each other. When I fell pregnant, I asked her to be Damien’s god mother to “keep it in the family” if you know what I mean. She never really paid much attention to her appointment- she attended his christening, I sent her photos and invitations to birthday parties and so on, but there was never much reciprocation. Then she got engaged to her high school sweetheart (an guy I honestly never liked very much), and suddenly we were much closer! Damien started visiting and they visited us and so on. Then she asked me to do her wedding make up and my dad to photograph her wedding. I was flattered and agreed since it’s something I like doing, and I was enjoying getting to know her.
One night, I think it was at about seven on a Friday night- someone knocked on my door. And there was my cousin’s fiancé- ALL FALL DOWN DRUNK! He asked if he could come in for coffee ‘coz he couldn’t go home to my cousin in the state he was in. Now- he had never EVER been to my place on his own, they’d only been there a couple of times TOGETHER. I had known him (just barely) for about ten years though, so he wasn’t entirely a stranger- as much as I didn’t like the idea of letting him in- I liked the idea of him driving in the state he was in even less. He drank half a cup of strong coffee and fell asleep- sitting up- on my sofa- cup in hand- head back- mouth open! I figured I’d let him sleep for an hour and send him home (since it wasn’t that late). So what’s the worst thing that could happen? You guessed it! My cousin arrived about ten minutes later! He’d been at a work function so she thought she’d pop round, and Damien had stayed there the weekend before and he’d left something behind. You can imagine what went through her mind when she came in and found the twit asleep in my living room! And I honestly don’t blame her- especially since she had caught him cheating on her before! So I explained what had happened- and he was clearly pickled when we tried to wake him- and she seemed “fine” with it. They left together a while later. A couple of days later I got a phone call at my work from her MIL-to-be, crapping me out from a dizzy height and asking me what myself and the fiancé thought we were doing! Clearly my cousin was not “fine”! I told the woman I had done nothing and had nothing to say to her and I hung up the phone. I then called my cousin to ask if there was some way we could clear this up since she had told me she was happy with my explanation- she said she didn’t know what to think anymore and she wasn’t at all happy with the situation! We spoke very briefly and that was the end of it. We had never been particularly close so I was quite happy to go back to the way things had been. The BIG problem was that this caused ructions between my daddy darling and his sister (my cousin’s mom). My folks of course took my side, and he refused to photograph the wedding- none of us attended either. We didn’t speak for many years, but my dad and his sister made up eventually. You know, shite like this can get VERY complicated when a family is as close as mine! A few years later we got together as a family to celebrate my dad’s mom’s eightieth birthday. And to make her happy we pretended we’d made friends, this was a big concern to my Ouma. We were very polite; I gave her a couple of pictures of Damien so she could see how he’d grown (since none of the grandkids were there that day) and we had a lovely afternoon. That was the last time we spoke apart from my Ouma’s funeral a short while later. She never apologized for accusing me of having an affair with her fiancé, even though she married him anyway! So we carried on as we had before they had gotten engaged. We’re both quite happy with it. We don’t see each other so there’s no need to make nice in front of other people and my dad and his sister are friends again so all is well with the world. Every now and then someone will mention them and what’s new- they had a little girl (I think she’s three now).
Yesterday I heard that she had been pregnant again and the baby had died at nearly 12 weeks- requiring an emergency procedure because she had not miscarried. My heart aches for her, yet I’m hesitant to contact her to let her know she’s in my prayers. . . I don’t even have her number, which means I couldn’t even do it “on the quiet” because I’d have to ask someone for her details!
There Is Never An Excuse
One in three is not a statistic - one in three is a crying shame.