Cousin Friends

Jun 15, 2017 by

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I am writing my post later than usual today because we just returned from our family cabin. The highlight of the trip was a day with my cousin/friend Melinda, who gave me this:


She also took me to a great bookstore, where I bought this:


Before the bookstore, we picked up her mom, Corinne, and went out to lunch at a great place called The Pickle Patch, that looks very ordinary from the outside until you walk to the garden seating area and feel like you’re in Downtown Danville. Melinda’s husband Al stopped by to say hello, and took this picture.


Melinda lives over an hour away from the cabin, but she came all the way out to pick me up. We considered it our creative way of getting extra one-on-one time in, to catch up after not seeing each other for two years.

What makes this visit, and my bond with Melinda, especially precious is that she isn’t technically my cousin. She is my ex-husband’s cousin.

I still remember the sad day when it hit me that divorce would separate me from my husband’s side of the family. His parents would always be our sons’ grandparents, so I knew I would still get to see them, but everyone else would most likely slip out of my life. According to what I’d read and heard, relationships with in-laws was a casualty of no longer being married—one more loss to accept, mourn and let go of. What if they stopped liking me? What if they assumed horrible things about me? What if… Don’t even let your mind go there I finally had to order myself.

The picture from lunch, and hearing Melinda introduce me as “our cousin, Jeanette” when we picked Aunt Corinne up from her assisted living facility, is proof that there are exceptions to every list of what to expect, and that my fears did not come true. Not only did I not lose Melinda (or Corinne or Al), but we are closer than ever. I don’t think of her as my ex-husband’s cousin; I think of her as family and my friend—a friend that time flies with when we talk in the car, and who knows that a stop at a bookstore that I didn’t know existed will make my week.

There are exceptions to every list of what to expect. Click To Tweet

It reminds me that God is much kinder and more powerful than what we are told to accept as “this is just how it works,” and that people can be a lot kinder than that too. And when we know that someone could have easily let us go but didn’t, that makes the friendship even more special.

Thank you, Lord, for the wonderful ways you surprise us, and for the people who remind us that we are worth hanging onto.


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  1. Yup, you’re a keeper! 😘

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