It's been six years since I lost my cousin Nicole. I still remember the phone call that she was in the hospital, basically a vegetable from a car accident and that her boyfriend had died on impact in the passenger seat.
Then as we were getting ready to go to the hospital, we got the phone call that her pulse started slowing down as my aunt and uncle had to decide what to do, and that she passed away.
I still can picture pulling up at the hospital and my whole family just huddling in the parking lot.
My cousin blossomed into a beautiful young woman. She was a senior in high school and was going to go to college and play volleyball. She had her whole life in front of her, cut short that night her car lost control.
I remember how she used to annoy me, growing up, as she was the one I hung out with the most and how she changed as she grew older. The games we played, the stories we shared, our secrets. I really miss her.
Six years...which is also how long my cat has been in my life. Checkers came a few months before Nicole's accident, and I truly think it was on purpose. My cat seems to know that I needed the extra loving the last few days too.
But I won't cry anymore today. I'll just think of the good times, our shared moments in life. And remember the beautiful young woman my cousin had blossomed into.