My cousin

My sweet little cousin. I didn’t know the extent of my love for you until I lost you.

I took this picture of you while we were on a family trip together in Moscow in 2006 and I remember this moment clearly. You resisted, as most of my family members do; asked “why are you taking pictures of me”? I assured you it was to practice my lighting and that I saw something really cool. You gave in and returned to your previous pose. You even let me torture you a little until I got the elements around you just right in my frame.

You were my baby cousin whom I would come in the middle of the day to take to the bathroom in your kindergarten when you didn’t trust any of your teachers; you had a huge smile on your face that I’ll never forget. You were my teenage cousin with a loving heart, who would come up to me and hug me really tight (after I yelled at you and grounded you and made you clean your room as punishment after you tried to have a party at home while I was ‘babysitting’ you).

You had a beautiful soul… and souls never die. Know that you will always live in my heart and that I’ll always miss you.