Two weeks ago, a cousin of mine died from Covid. She was a very, very private person who had at one point in her life had shut out most of the family. She had just started opening back up to the family a few years ago. I remember being shocked at seeing her at two of the family functions I attended. The last one was a family reunion and after it we had a heart-to-heart talk. She finally bared her heart to me and told me why she had shut the family out of her life. As I listened to her, I could hear the pain in her voice as she revealed things about relatives I didn't know. I knew some of the relatives had found God and was now living a different life. My cousin was still holding on to the pain they had caused her in the past. I felt honored that she felt I was a safe place for her to release her pain. It meant she trusted me.
When I hung up the phone with my cousin that day, familiar feelings began to flood my soul. I understood family hurt because just like my cousin, I had been hurt by "The Family." I remember when I moved out at 19. I was hurt, angry because I had been told that I couldn't come back once I moved out. I was living with my cousin "Ava" and she was mad that I decided to move out and didn't tell her. I already knew she was telling her sister, that it was time for me to go. I couldn't understand why she was mad that I was doing what she wanted me to do, and that was to move out!
I couldn't understand why she wanted me to move out. I made sure I gave her the agreed upon $100 rent every month on time. I stayed in a room that everyone walked through to get to the porch, so I had little privacy and I was never at home in the daytime. I was working and going to school. I would come home at 9:00 at night and had dishes to wash. On the nights I had to wash dishes, my favorite little cousin would make sure I had a lot of dishes to wash. I think he drank out of every glass in the kitchen. I thought I was the perfect tenant
After I left my cousin's house, I cut off that part of the family. My cousin Ava never knew where I lived and never got the opportunity to visit my home. It wasn't until she got saved and I got saved that we fully reconciled. I didn't just cut my family off because they were mad I moved by myself, I did it because I had also been abused. I didn't want them to hurt me again.
My Great-Aunt was emotionally abusive to me. She would drink on the weekends and make my life a living nightmare. Out of respect, I won't share all of the things she did, but she taught me to NEVER trust anyone to manage my money. After I became saved, I forgave my family and like my cousin that died, I started coming around more. Now do you understand why my cousin felt it was safe for her to share her pain with me? We had both suffered family hurt and dealt with our pain in different ways.
As I listened to family and friends talk about my cousin, during her memorial, they all shared how she was such a kind person. She was a giver and she was generous BUT she never felt no one loved her, but her husband and child. She had made her daughter and her husband her world. She was very self-conscious of her looks because she gained weight after the birth of her child. Her daughter said that after she came into this world, her mother only took pictures of her. I remember hearing my cousin put herself down. It broke my heart because she was beautiful. My cousin's beauty and the love others had for her was invisible to her! There were almost 30 people on that Zoom call for her memorial. All the people kept saying was, how much they loved her and how she had shared so much kindness with them.
My dear readers, my cousin left this earth feeling like no one loved her. Her husband had divorced her and her daughter was moving out on her own. She felt so alone. She didn't realize that there was so many other people who loved her also. All that love was invisible to her.
Has love ever been invisible to you? Have you ever felt like no one loved you? I have felt that way when I was growing up. My mother died when I was about 4 years old. There were times that I ached for my mother because I KNEW she would love me. The enemy tells me that I have never experienced unconditional love because I have never been married, have no kids and didn't grow up experiencing a mother's love. Those are the best earthly examples of unconditional love that I can think of. I have to remind him that love is not invisible in my life. I see it when a best friend invites me to her home for monthly movie night. We laugh and share a dinner because we enjoy being around each other. I see love when my cats snuggle next to me after I yelled at them for scratching the furniture. I see it when my God mother and father calls me daughter. Please don't shut your eyes to the love around you. Life might have dealt you a bad hand but God makes sure that someone or something loves you while we are on this earth.
Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. I owe you all one more blog for the year! It is coming! I hope you had a Merry Christmas. I sure did because my day was filled with visible love! In honor of my cousin, please show someone that you love them.
-Your favorite Ruby Girl