To My Favorite Cousin's Future Wife

To My Favorite Cousin's Future Wife

An open letter
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To My Cousin's fiance,

By the time you read this, you will officially be a part of the family. You will have walked down the aisle, looking beautiful as always. He will cry like the big teddy bear that he is. Everyone will be watching you, the stunning bride, but I will be watching him. I will see his face the moment he sees you and I will cry because I am happy and so damn proud of the man, now husband, he has become.

You know, him and I were partners in crime. We fought over ice cream sandwiches and tree forts in the woods, but we always had each other's backs against anyone else. We had to hold our own against our bigger, stronger cousin's in the family. We were the "little cousins" until our little brothers came along 6 years later- the only cousins within 10 years of age. In those 6 years, we formed a bond like that of siblings. He's not really my cousin, no, he's my brother and my best friend.

In high school, we were competitive and constantly gave each other shit, but if anyone else even thought about messing with us- oh boy, were they in trouble. He constantly did his best to intimidate any boy who looked my way. It really just embarrassed me at the time, but it prevented me from making some very bad choices. I've never thanked him for that. He warned me about the intentions of several people over the years. Being as stubborn as I am, I obviously ignored him. He was right. I've never told him that.

He was just known as the goofball in school. The one who was a little too loud and obnoxious at times, but the sweetest guy around. He made it his duty to make people smile, especially if they were having a rough time. For that, he was taken for granted- always stuck in the friend-zone or completely taken advantage of. I took care of it, obviously- behind the scenes. He just doesn't know it. (Sorry not sorry).

I always knew that he was underrated to girls, but I also knew that it would pay off for him in the future. I knew that if anyone was going to be an amazing husband one day, it was going to be him. I wanted to be sure that he would save his heart for someone who truly appreciated it. He deserved nothing but the best.

Well, he found the best with you.

He had eyes for you long before you ever dated. You were the mysterious girl from camp he would always speak of to me excitedly. I would always roll my eyes and wonder if you even truly existed (ha-ha). When I first met you last year and discovered that you, his girlfriend (at the time) were, in fact, that girl from camp, I was shocked. That girl he spoke of all those years was you. His fiance. His soon-to-be wife.

The girl who loves the outdoors and scouts as much as he does. The girl who is literally a third of his size, but will do her best to push him in the kiddie pool at a family party. The girl who doesn't just laugh at all his jokes, but gives him shit when they aren't funny and loves him anyways. The girl who embraces his imperfections and accepts him completely as he is.

To say that I am relieved is an understatement. I never thought anyone would be good enough for him, but you are. You are intelligent, witty and warm. You are mature enough to keep him in line, but childish enough to laugh along with him.

You are his best friend.

Thank you for being his best friend. Thank you for accepting him, supporting him and making his life a little brighter every day.

He will piss you off. He will make bad jokes and embarrass you. He will forget things, important things and he might fight you for an ice cream sandwich, but I promise, he never stop loving you. He will always treat you with respect. He will remain loyal and never fail to make you smile. He will make mistakes, but he will do his best to fix them and be the best husband he can possibly be.

Congratulations.

Welcome to the family.













Cover Image Credit: Wallpaper Spider

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I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

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Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

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To The Cousin Who Is More Like My Sister, I Am So Thankful For You

Here's to a lifetime of dance parties in living rooms and conversations that light up any room that we're in.

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Dear sister,

In the short six months I have gotten to know you, my mind is still blown by how fast my heart found so much joy in spending time with you. There are days where I wish that I would have gotten to know you sooner, like WAY sooner, but God's plan for our lives doesn't always match up with ours - and in this case, I think His plan worked out pretty great. And sure, we could call ourselves second cousins and dabble in all the technicalities, but what fun would that be?

We both know that "sisters" is a much better word to define this beautiful, weird, and spontaneous relationship of ours.

I think about all the beautiful gifts Jesus has given me in my life and you're pretty high up on that list. Yes, even on the days where I've called you a panini head and the times when you threaten to hang up on me on FaceTime because of how I annoy you to wit's end. Even then, I find myself so thankful that you play such a big part in my life. Ever since I was a little girl, I have always wanted a sister that I can share my love for Jesus, Indian food, (specifically, lamb curry), cute redhead boys, cliché chick flicks, and worship music. And now here you are. Sometimes I'm still in shock that Jesus has been so good to me that He would bring you into my life, but He's just that good and is just that faithful to His promises - and you can hold on to that truth for the rest of your life.

I hope you know that whenever you like a boy you can tell me and we can talk about how boys are the absolute WORST and then proceed to talk about how Jesus is WAY better, and then end with scrolling through pictures of our celebrity crushes.

I hope you never get tired of being goofy because that is most definitely one of my favorite things about you. You bring out the goofy side of me and It's the most fun. It reminds me that confidence can be found in being yourself- which sometimes means you just need to break out into a singing and dancing session in your bedroom. I hope you never lose your wonder of getting to know Jesus personally and wanting to pursue a life of chasing after Him because that is the number one thing that will get you through your teenage years. I promise you that.

On the days where you feel so incredibly overwhelmed by all that life is I hope you know that I am always for you. I will always pick up the phone to pray for you, and I will always listen to your rants.

I hope that we are for each other just as much as our moms are for each other. I hope that one day we sit in the kitchen laughing and sharing stories from our time together just like our moms do now.

I hope you never doubt your worth and always appreciate your culture, wearing your Indian dresses with pride because you know that your ethnicity is a beautiful part of who you are and what your story is. Because sister, if there is a life lesson you should learn right now it's that when you walk through life with confidence in who you are it's pretty dang hard for anyone to tell you otherwise. And I hope that no one ever does. I hope you continue to walk through life with your head held high because you know who you are and you are proud of it.

I hope you find joy in the mundane of life because seeking joy in the routine of your every day is what gets you through the hardest of days. I hope you know that joy will be your strength, no matter how old you get. And that finding joy can range from sharing a night of laughter with your family to getting chick fil a one the days you crave it the most (every day).

Even though we don't live in the same state, one of my favorite things is to have our weekly FaceTime calls that usually consist of an outburst of dancing, sharing stories from our life, doing yoga, or having a study session, which..more often than not is interrupted by your brothers walking in or a dance session breaking out.

Sweet friend, It has been such a joy to know you, to see who you are, what you're passionate about, and to already watch you grow into the amazing young woman that you're becoming. I can't wait to cheer you on in every big moment that happens in your life. From when you get your license (yikes, I know) to when you become a Doctor (yes, you will be). I can't wait to watch you grow in confidence and courage and boldness. You are going to be a great leader, someone who selflessly serves others, and someone who treats others like Jesus would treat them.

Sister, I hope you never get sick of calling me sister, because it makes my heart glad to know that we share that type of bond. I hope that whenever you have a day that makes even the smallest things terrible, that you can read this and feel a small ounce of joy in knowing that this is a relationship that will last a lifetime. I pray for you to always know your worth, know that you are loved beyond all measures, and to know that you are and will be resilient in any circumstance that comes your way.

So sister here's to a lifetime of laughing so hard we cry, crying so hard we laugh, and dancing around in the living room because we have so much joy in our hearts - no matter what life throws at us.

Here's too more late night talks in the guest room with the warm lamp lights and more back popping sessions on the living room floor. Here's to a lifetime of joy, adventures, and stories. I can't wait to walk through so much more life with you. I love you.

glowing queens Christina Thomas

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