I can hardly believe it, but today my dearest cousin in my mom's side of the family* turned 50 years old! That means that a year from now I will turn 40, since she's eleven years older than me. I'm really sad that was unable to talk to her on the phone, but I hope to talk to her tomorrow. Better late than never...
Here's young Vania with her older brother:
And here she is seen behind me not too long after she met me for the first time (I was two years old and had returned from Europe with my parents less than a year earlier):Vania and I are on the right side of the picture. You can see my pregnant mom in the background -- we're wearing matching homemade dresses! The other girl in the photo is my cousin Maisa, the daughter of my mom's other sister.
I posted a similar picture to the blog when I wrote about my aunt's 50th anniversary back in 2007, but here it is again, mothers (8 years apart) and daughters (11 years apart):When I went to Brazil last December and January I had the rare chance of seeing Vania and her family twice during my visit! I went to visit her family for a weekend and then she came with her family to my parents' house (here's a photo of them!). That's when we took these:
She doesn't look 50 at all, does she? I hope I can look as good as she does when I get there. I have to follow here example of fitness, though, and start swimming several times a week and exercising regularly. The only difference is that I'm going to start now and she's been very active for many years, so chances are I won't look that great! :-(
In spite of the age difference we became really close after I grew up. In fact, I always looked up to my older cousin. I vaguely remember her 15th birthday party (equivalent to the "Sweet Sixteen" here), the party favor was small red cutout heart with her photo in the middle and when I turned 15 eleven years later I made the same party favor with my photo. I've always loved babies and kids remember when Vania's son and daughter were born (I was 14 and 16, I think). I loved to play with my baby and toddler cousins and looked forward to the day they would be in my wedding, and they were, together with their other four cousins (some photos here). Now we're looking forward to the day when my son(s) will be in her daughter's wedding -- pairing up with her new, adopted daughter, who is Kelvin's age.
I wish we didn't live so far away, but I visit her every time I go to Brazil. She hasn't come to visit yet, but that's just because I don't live in Orlando, FL (that's part of the reason why we wanted to move there! ;-)
Dear Vania, I just want to say in this very public space that I love you and I'm very glad to have you as part of my life! I hope you had a wonderful day with your loved ones in Brazil. I was thinking of you all day long!
* I have two dearest cousins, a female cousin in my mom's side and a male cousin in my dad's side who is a few months younger than me. Interestingly both of these cousins' middle names are my parents' names because my aunts were very close to my parents.
3 hours ago