Monday, January 25, 2010

for the love of fuzzins.

This weekend I headed back up to Montgomery to chaperone a group of girls at a youth rally my alma mater hosts every year. To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled about going. It’s a long trip after a full day of work, and I knew I’d inevitably run into someone I know and wind up not getting much sleep. (Which, by the way, is exactly what happened.)

In addition, trips to my alma mater are always bittersweet for me. Every time I go, I feel a little bit older, a little more out of place. The student newspaper that was my baby looks terrible, and my friends have all graduated, leaving the campus I once called home now feel a little haunted.

Nevertheless, I put Taylor Swift on repeat and made the trip. The why behind such a decision is detailed below.


The joys of being a part of a large extended family are, in my opinion, innumerable, but at the top of the list would rest my cousins.

During my growing up years, I always wanted a sister. (Okay, really, to be more specific, I wanted a twin. I was obsessed with the Olsens and thought I’d be way cooler if I had a lookalike to pull a Parent Trap with.) I never got the twin, or a sister, and honestly, I’m glad. A brother was perfect for me, and, to make up for my lack of sisters, God granted me cousins.

An older cousin who I admire and share remarkable similarities with, despite distance.

And two younger cousins who are, more appropriately termed, my fuzzins.* We have lived within 5 miles of each other our entire lives (minus the three years I spent in that place we call the Gump). I’ve gotten brushes tangled in their hair, convinced them to sing country music while sitting on the back of our aunt’s car, introduced them to the finer points of American literature, helped them develop catch phrases (GMAB, anyone?), and made them wear gold shoes on my wedding day.

I will do just about anything for these girls, including making yet another trip north, to the South.

So, I spent my Saturday immersed in the land of thick accents and sweet tea, listening to lessons aimed at teen girls and contemplating whether or not I have what it takes to be a speaker on the “church of Christ speaking circuit”—or if I even would want such a thing, since just typing that makes me cringe.

And then, the moment that made it all worth it.

A woman was speaking about actions speaking louder than words, about needing to be the hands and feet of Jesus instead of just talking about it all the time. She closed with a story about her 18-year-old cousin, a girl who had lost a battle with the cancer that engulfed her body. The professor proceeded to tell us all the heartbreaking story of this girl whose doctors and nurses spoke at her funeral, in awe of such a sweet spirit and smile.

I’m not a crier, but my eyes became a little teary.

And as the story ended and the girls in the room moved on to their next class, my own cousin, who’d been sitting in front of me, turned around and looked at me.

Her eyes were a little red and puffy too.

We laughed at each other.

No one else in our group had shed a tear.

So silly, the bond between fuzzins.

And in that moment, I remembered: I didn’t go to Montgomery for tips on how to be a better speaker. I didn’t go to relish my “glory days” or brag on my university.

I went this weekend to spend time with my fuzzin. To make sure she and her friends had a good time, had someone who cared enough to watch over them during their brief visit, to make sure they got t-shirts and knew where the bathrooms were.

And I’m pretty sure this picture alone proves that my time was well spent.

*Coined after deciding we were friends as well as cousins. Clever, we know.


Jessica said...

we're headed that way this weekend:)

Fuzzin said...

Yay for fuzzins! :) Thanks for doing that with me for three years. And thanks for teaching me, taking me places, and letting me borrow your stuff all the time. :)This is one a my favorite blog posts of yours. :)