On Thursday I got a text message. I couldn’t believe what I was reading. “I’m moving to OR and I want you to go out w/ me and I’ll fly you home.” WHOA. Add to this mix the fact that I was at work, having one of the hardest days of my career (thus far), and you have identified Bre’s brain meltdown.
This message came from my cousin, Jasmine. Jazz has been my favorite (paternal) cousin since I was like 6. I can remember making mud pies in her playhouse, foraging for special nuts and pinecones to garnish them. I can remember when she first got her license and drove my sister and I to the pool. I thought we were the coolest things ever. Then Jasmine got married when I was 12 or 13. She married a military man and moved all the way to Georgia. I was sad. When we met this new husband of hers, there was something about him I didn’t like. I couldn’t put my finger on it (being 12 could have had something to do with it) but I just knew that he wasn’t the fairy tale he was leading Jazz to believe.
Jazz is a cowgirl. She knows how to ride with the best of them, she’s smart and logical in the way of farm life, and she aspires to be a veterinary technician. I love to ride with her, and when she compliments my form or my patience, my heart swells with pride. We often joke about being Annie Oakley: “If an idiot pisses us off, we could just shoot ’em and ride away…” But there’s something about Jazz you have to know. She’s stubborn. Within minutes of meeting her, anybody will know it. That is why I’m not shocked that she’s packing up her life and moving out west. But it doesn’t mean that I’m not sad.
We became more sister-like when I was in high school. She had since divorced Military Jerk and moved back to Iowa. She was remarried to a man I’d like to call I’m The Victim. When I moved out of my mother’s house at 16 years old, Jazz was there for me. When I discovered that living with my aunt wasn’t working so well, Jazz was there for me. I lived with Jazz for about 4 months of my senior year. Jazz didn’t try to impose all kinds of chores, curfews, or studying rules on me. She knew how mature and responsible I was and just told me, cut and dried, ‘You go to school. You go to work. You do what you can to help here, and we’ll be fine. I just want the courtesy of knowing where you are, or if you’re not coming home.’ She understood me and my need and capability to take care of myself. I think it’s because she has that same need and capability.
The husbands from Jasmine’s past leave a lot to be desired. The first was a chauvinist and the second was an oversized 12 year old with an anger problem. To her credit, she gave them a fair chance and gave them the opportunity to grow and become better people. But they did not follow suit and in order to preserve herself, she cut ties.
Now, she is embarking on one of the biggest events of her life. She’s moving to Oregon because she’s fallen in love. Most of the people in our society and in this day and age are so jaded that they will scoff at this notion. “Fallen in love?” they’ll say. But she knows her heart and if it belongs in Oregon and belongs to this cowboy, then so be it. Like I said before, she IS stubborn.
I am going to miss my stubborn, cowgirl cousin who, really, is like an older sister I never had.
At least I have a love for travel!