On the very first day of 2013, we lost our cousin, Eva. Eva was a close friend and sister growing up. She lived around the corner from us until we moved when I was ten. Her mother babysat us. Her parents and my parents took turns keeping the three Nemeth kids and two Jalajas kids at the camper in our favorite campground in the summers. Teenagers babysat all five of us during the rest of the summer when my aunt returned to work. After we moved, Eva spent a couple summers at our house. When I was in college, I spent an entire year's worth of weekends at Eva's house which was only forty-five minutes away. We'd sautee mushrooms and onions, eat Cappucino Chocolate Chunk Ice Cream, and shop at Target. Later, our firstborn children were born about a year apart. B and Eva's daughter played well together. I have a lot of pictures of the two of them.
Eva had such a big personality, such a creative way of looking at things. I miss her. Still, I still hear her voice. Just today I saw this on Facebook, and it brought up a memory of her.
When C was a baby, he loved a toy phone that was shaped like a car. It made them most annoying noises, and would beep and bleep at whim. On a visit to NC to see Eva--years before she and I had children of our own--Cassie, Mom, and I complained about the lack of an On/Off switch on the toy. Eva walked to the junk drawer, returned with a screwdriver, removed the batteries, and handed C his favorite toy back. He happily chattered on the new and improved car phone.
I know she'll always be with us. I am so grateful that her personality was big enough to fill up the empty space in my heart every once and a while. I am so grateful that her husband and her kids remind me of her. I'm so grateful for the time I had with her and for my memories of her. I love how she changed--and still changes--me into a better person.