The Big Sister I Never Had - Victoria Dixon
It's funny when you're a child, a 10-15 year age difference is significant. Somehow, when you become adults not so much. That's the case with my cousin Victoria. Growing up, I was always fond of my cousin Victoria - just too young to roll with her LOL! She traveled in the fast line, was popular and knew many people in the DMV. A socialite then and now! I remember hoping I'd grow up and be shaped just like her.
Our lives went in separate directions; intertwining at certain intervals - mainly family gatherings. Within the last 20 years, age was no longer a factor, I was an adult and had more in common with my cousin since I too was a mother and had been through some things in life - but we both were similar in the sense that while we stayed in touch with our grandmother mainly, we made appearances at key family events annually - only.
Over the years, my cousin and I grew close. Real close. Mostly because she made it a point to reach out to me weekly, for YEARS. I may receive a text at 6am, and when I'd get that text, I knew it was either Victoria or my mom. Victoria would always remember some of my friends she may have met along the way and she'd always ask -- "so how's so & so?" And I'd always laugh, because she may have been referring to a buddy of mine she met one time years ago that I may or may not even speak to anymore - but she would always show interest and concern about that person and would always ask about them. I TOO have that same caring spirit. Once I meet you and I like you - I will always inquire about your well-being. Yup -- years later! LOL.
I have shared many things with my cousin over the years and she with me. I trust her wholeheartedly. My cousin has a heart of gold and when I spend time with her, she reminds me a lot of myself, because I possess that same sweet spirit. And what I have also learned is that we both are on the receiving end a lot of unfair judgment. People often form an opinion of the kind of person they think that we are - based on our outer appearance - when in reality, we are two of the most authentic kind-hearted and polite individuals you'd ever meet.
Actually, the more time that I spend with all of my aunts and family, I see that kindness and authenticity runs in the blood.
My cousin really has been my rock (she doesn't realize this) she has supported me and has been there for me like no other. Just recently, if the "necessary" became necessary, she would have thrown those hands up to defend me. But we divas really try not to go there -- it's bad for the stilettos. But don't get it twisted by any means.
A recent memory of my cousin was at her last birthday party. I was sooooo excited to be there to support her on her special day. And my goodness, I had such a great time with her squad. But more importantly, I observed my cousin taking great care in the planning of her own party. She wanted every single detail to be perfect -- not for her, but for her guests. She wanted her guests to be fed the best food, the best cake and she made swag bags, and created a glamorous atmosphere - truly all for her guests. When she felt satisfied that her guests would have a great experience, she then got dressed and enjoyed her party. It was the most selfless act I have witnessed. And my heart grew even fonder.
And last, my cousin came through for me in a HUGE way - in an effort to help support the visibility of my new travel-inspired brand FlightsInStilettos. Again, such a selfless act and she went out of her way, because she just wanted me to be happy. For that act, I will be eternally grateful. Family supports family.
Of course, there have been those times when we haven't seen eye to eye - but not many. My cousin called and made me do something that really I should have done without her making me feel guilty. But she was right and I was glad I went to visit a family member when I did. I sent her the picture as proof and life was good again between her and I. It killed me to think she may have been upset with me and I wanted to make it right.
For these reasons and 40+ years of additional reasons, Vicky is really the big sister I never had. She's my cousin, but I love her like a sister. I dedicate this to you big sister-cousin! If you are blessed to have this woman in your life, you really have a true gem on your side.