A letter to the cousin that became my best friend


Dear Emma,

Words cannot express how thankful I am for you. We are cousins by chance, but best friends by choice. Being a member of my family, you were always going to be a part of my life, but you chose to become my best friend on our family’s annual trip up north a few years ago.

When we went to Harbor Springs, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I thought everyone would kind of just hang out together, but everyone seemed to pair up. Together, you and I started towards the ping-pong room, and I knew that we would be hanging out the entire trip.

We began to talk about a lot of things in our lives. We began to bond over the little things; we rarely stopped talking. When we were having a conversation that was interrupted by a family event, we would continue our conversations over text.

After our week-long adventure, as soon as you left, we just continued to text. Before I knew it, we were talking all day, every day.

I always think of you as my go-to person. I have never had a connection with anyone like I do with you.”

Talking with you on a daily basis has been a blessing. I tell you things I could NEVER tell other people, and you understand. Being a cousin was helpful when we began to talk, but now we talk about anything and everything as confidants.

I honestly don’t know what I would do without you, and that is not an exaggeration. You have helped me talk through so many things, and for that, I am forever grateful.

A few days before Easter this year, some of our family gathered, and your dad was there. He asked me- since he knows we talk constantly- if I would be interested in coming to Montana to visit you this summer. I freaked out. “YES,” I replied excitedly. On the day of Easter, I asked my parents if I could go to Montana, and they were very open to the idea. Just like that, the plane tickets were bought, and Aug 2- my arrival date- could not come soon enough.

My eleven-day adventure began with two very bumpy plane rides to arrive to my destination: Montana. As soon as I arrived, at 12:12 p.m. my time, I was waiting for my luggage. I didn’t even see you, but you came up to me and jump scared me. I laughed and was led to your home that would become mine for the next eleven days.

We hiked plenty while I was there, and I had never hiked before. I thought all the wind would be knocked out of me with the elevation change, and boy, was I right. You just laughed your way up the mountain, and we took plenty of pictures on the way.

When we got to the top of my first mountain, I cried. I actually cried, because I never thought I could accomplish something so amazing. Someone random took a picture of us to mark the occasion, and we smiled all the way down the mountain.

Your family surprised me with a trip to Yellowstone. It was such an incredible two-day trek; a buffalo came about ten feet away from the car. I almost cried (notice a pattern?), took plenty of pictures, and we had a great time.

I always think of you as my go-to person. I have never had a connection with anyone like I do with you. Being a part of your life is not only a blessing, but it is an honor. I have never been more intrigued in a conversation than I have been in conversations with you. Every day, even though you are over 2,000 miles away, you always make me smile, and sometimes, even laugh out loud. But, knowing that you are so far makes me think of how cool our connection really is. Being so far, but so close, has to be the coolest thing.

A few weeks ago, you called me on the phone. It was random and unexpected. Not surprisingly, I was intrigued and giggling the entire time. I was at the store, and we had a lot of laughs. I really enjoyed that. Thank you so much.

Two weeks ago, I got to see you for the first time since August. We had lots of laughs in Grandy and Papa’s basement, taking Erin outside for a walk and a little playtime in the snow and looking at the iconic family tablecloth. It made me smile.

Thank you for all the conversations, whether they are meaningful, or just silly iPhone games to pass the time.

Emma, please come visit soon. Texts, calls, and FaceTimes are always appreciated. Thank you so much for being my best friend.

Much love,