She was my older cousin and, for a long time, one of my best friends. She would let me tag along with her for hours and pretend I too was a big kid. She never treated me like a child even though the three years that separated us in age - at the time 10 and 13 - was a cavernous stretch between childhood and teenage years.
We were always very different, she and I, and remain so to this day. I admire her kindness in the face of the innate stupidity of the world. And I admire her ability to look towards the good things that exist in life. Life has not been easy for her, but you would never know that by her attitude towards other people and life itself.
We have grown apart in the last few years. I regret that and yet seem to be immobilized to fix it. Yet, in our inner mind, I think we both hold tight to that friendship that seemed invincible at the time.