To my dearest cousin – the person who I first revolved my life around,
I can’t believe you’ve been on this Earth for twenty years. It seems like it was only yesterday when you, with your adorable Afro and kiddish dresses, played pots and pans with me. You were the first person I ever admired, following your every command.
It’s difficult to write down just how much I admired you in our early years, knowing how you’ve grown into this beautiful young woman now. In so many ways, I admire you still. Sure, when we were younger you were my older cousin sister – I looked up to you and loved playing with you. As we grew older, so did our relationship with each other. We discussed the sort of things teenage girls tend to discuss and whenever we saw each other it was always filled with laughter, boisterous, energetic.
We also became different people so easily. While you looked outward, I looked inward. While I was reflecting on how to be myself, you were out there taking the risks, going through the heartbreak, learning how to have your own fun.
It has been humbling, seeing you grow up. When your birthday came just a few days ago I blanched. I had no idea what to get you, or what to write to you. I wanted to do something different – after all you’re leaving me into your twenties now.
You’re no longer a teenage girl, woman.
I’m sorry it took me this long, I promise you I’ve been working on this (inside my head) for a long time. I want to tell you how much you mean to me – being the first person I ever stared starry-eyed at.
I love you for the fun we always tend to have, your bold actions, your cherishing love underneath it all, your girlhood, and your wisdom.
Twenty years, and you’ve experienced so much life already. I can only hope to be there with you for some of that at least – and I promise to show you my love, always.
Every single time you would hold me close for a photo | when we played pots and pans in your old house | you reading those fairy books when you were in Year 6 | the day my brother had to go to the hospital and we stayed at your house | the upstairs bedroom where the really old computer was | talking in your bedroom | talking in my bedroom | you telling me all the shocking things you’ve been up to | us laughing and recording the moments and laughing some more | you picking me up from fora | us praying together | the very few times we would talk seriously | the last serious talk we had over snapchat | the first hug we shared after that…
and I hope to make many more memories with you. These are just the tip of the iceberg.
You’ve grown into a confident young woman who knows exactly what she wants, who she is, and how she wants to conduct herself. You’re beautiful inside and out and your big heart loves so, so much. We are all so lucky to have you.
I love you forever and always,
Your introverted Mahima.