S is my dad’s cousin. About 9 years older than me. With a memory like mine, I have an earliest recall of every person I know (yes, you are in big dooodooo if you were mean to me when I was little, thinking I won’t remember a thing). Unlike with some other cousins where my earliest recall is of questionable quality – pulling each other’s hair and going in circles crying loudly (G, that would be you!) – my earliest memory of S is pretty positive.
I remember (at 4 years of age) showing S (likely a high schooler then) my new brown paper covered UKG books, and glowing with pride when he looked through my books patiently and exclaimed, “wow, you are such a big girl now!”. Growing up, S was not quite on my radar, other than seeing him off and on at family weddings. I got back in touch with him when I was a bright-eyed bushy tailed graduate student in Canada. I remember that he was always nice enough to offer to call me right back whenever I called to talk to him (International calling charges were pretty tough then, no? Especially, on poor grad students!). I remember waking S up in the middle of the night (again, Sprint phone plans offered cheaper rates after midnight back then) to share my delight over V’s upcoming wedding. And him indulgently listening and not hanging up saying he had to work the next day. Over the intervening years, S and I were in touch off and on. More off than on, since he moved to Europe for work for a few years, and I got married, had my two little munchkins and was busy juggling work and life. We have been meeting more frequently in recent years since we moved to NJ. N and I greatly enjoy our get-togethers with S (and the detailed and far out wild stories that S sometimes shares).
S happened to be in India when Appa fell ill in 2010. He spent time with my parents, visiting them multiple times and offering to help out with anything that they might need. Which is a lot to offer when one is out on vacation. And gave me comfort during a low point in my life, when I was distraught over how far both V and I were from our parents, especially during their hour of need. He is one of only a couple of people that I could bear to call to notify about Appa’s passing. As you can tell, S is someone that I regard with a lot of affection and respect.
S is getting married at the end of this month to his childhood friend. I can tell you (from personal experience) that marrying a close friend is one of the best things that you can do for yourself. 🙂 I am delighted for him and believe that there’s much happiness in store for him in his future.
S, here’s wishing you a lifetime of happiness with P. And get ready for some serious pre-wedding partying with the rest of us! 🙂