He can still make me cry

When I was a little girl I would dread family visits to see my cousin Shane. He was a few years older than me, and had a talent for making me cry with his teasing. None of the adults were any help in the matter, I remember them laughing at how “cute” we were in our little battles. So I did my best to fight back on my own, but was largely unsuccessful, like the time I thought I’d come up with a brilliant rhyming insult that was sure to shut him up. “Shane the Pain!” I taunted. Unfazed, he shot back: “Icky Vicki!” More tears. I laugh about it now, but back then, I thought it was quite tragic.

We grew up, as kids do, and as teenagers and we got along much better. By that point I looked forward to the family get-togethers when I could spend time with him. He’d concoct fancy coffee drinks with whatever we could find in our grandma’s kitchen, we’d talk about music and roll our eyes at the “grown ups” who thought it was so cute that the two grandkids who used to hate eachother now got along so well.

And all these years later, Shane can still make me cry. Well, the memory of him–Shane died nine years ago today, and I still miss him something awful. It was a sudden accident, no goodbye, I don’t even have a clear memory of the last time I saw him alive. The memories I do have I guard fiercely, I feel I have too few and I don’t want to lose them, however trivial.

So here’s to matching Mickey Mouse socks, dancing a waltz for the relatives, driving down a gravel road with the windows down and stereo up, ice cream with peanut butter, and the worst-best mocha ever made using nestle quik and instant coffee.

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