This week I am thankful for family. Not just the 'typical' family that you see every day. But for special relatives who live on the other end of our continent - two whole countries away!
I have an aunt & uncle and cousins who live in Mexico. Growing up, every summer they would make the trek up to Canada to visit the rest of the extended family, staying 2-3 weeks at a time. We also made two trips down to see them over the years - once when I was in grade 5 and again when I was in grade 8.
One of the cousins - Yolanda - and I are exactly the same age (well, she is two months older than I am) and have always been extremely close cousins, despite the long stretches of time in between seeing each other. We always had a deep connection that lasted us throughout our times of absence and we used whatever chances we had to foster our relationship. We actually even had the privilege of living in dorm together for a year when our years of Bible school over-lapped (she came up here for college).
What is so special now is that we are grown up with children of our own - and our oldest daughters are also exactly the same age (again, two months apart - Joelle being the eldest this time). But wait - it gets better!
Joelle and Vanessa have actually gotten to meet 3 times in their short lifetime already (4 if you include the womb-meeting!) - AND they appear to have the same wonderful connection that their Moms have! It really is the coolest thing to see.
Yolanda and her family have made a Canadian visit 4 times in the past 8 years - one of them being when both her and I were pregnant with our firstborns (5 years after we had seen each other since Bible College). How special that was for us to see each other pregnant.
After that, we saw each other when our daughters were not yet quite a year old. Joelle & Vanessa's first official meeting. Joelle is on the left in case you couldn't tell. :)
After that it was almost 5 years before they would meet again. But look at the connection they have even after all of that time! It's undeniable and so very special to watch.
Just this week was yet another reunion - two years after the previous one. From babies to young kindergarteners to quickly grown-up almost 8-year-olds. And the connection is as strong as if they see each other every day.
I hope these precious friends/second cousins get to meet many more times over the course of their lifetime. They have a bond that I recognize as being unbreakable. And I am so very thankful for the opportunities that they have had so far to become fast friends.
And of course I can't forget about Little Miss Malia! The first time the older girls met, of course she wasn't born yet. And the second time she was only 3 years old. But this time as a kindergartener herself, she was included in the festivities and made her own connection with sweet Vanessa. Here are The Three Muskateers, happy as clams!