In honor of an important birthday for my eldest cousin:
#1006 - I'm grateful for her existence. I was almost an adult before my first cousin was born, so I deeply appreciated and looked forward to her appearance in our family and I still feel this way.
#1007 -To know both sides of her. She can be quiet/shy around strangers (like I am), but with me she has always been fiery and spirited.
#1008 - Her Ability to Articulate her Emotions. There was one time (at least) in the past couple years when I hurt her feelings. Instead of pouting or lashing out or becoming silent...she explained to me how and why she felt hurt. I was honored and dumbstruck. I didn't start learning how to do that until recently, and here she was as a teenager already figuring it out!
#1009 - To Witness Her Growth - For example, summer of 2009 Krystal didn't want to dance at an outdoor concert with my brother, sister-in-law and I. This Summer she went Tango dancing with us and danced with complete strangers!
#1010 - The first time I took Krystal downhill skiing, she had gone once before. I had no idea how good/comfortable she was. As I watched her barrel down the first hill (clearly not in control), my heart flew from the confines of my chest. I wanted to grab her, hold her safe and tight, but she was speeding towards an unknown destination. All I could do was trust and pray.
So as her life continues to evolve towards unknown destinations, I pray that the force that got her down that hill keeps guiding.