My childhood memories almost all involve a sibling and/or a cousin or two. Specifically my big sister Courtney (left in the lovely picture above) and our cousin Geordan (the dashing cowboy on my right. He had a Cowboys and Indians themed birthday party. Unless I’m getting confused and this was 4th of July and we just decided to dress up as cowboys, which would explain the flag I’m holding. If this was Geordie’s birthday I have no clue why I was so patriotic. Either way, Cowboys was a frequent game we played.)
I can’t even begin to imagine what my childhood would have been like without these two. Probably less tearful. I was forever being picked on when our grandparents would take us on road trips to Branson or Six Flags. Fifteen minutes into the trip and I’m crying in the backseat while Gammy yells from the front, “Alright that is IT we’re turning this car around and ya’ll aren’t getting one BIT of your spending money if you don’t quit picking on Kaka!” Somehow by the time we came back home Geordie would have bought the entire candy section of Cracker Barrel and have already broken at least one of his toys, while Courtney would be the proud owner of a new stuffed animal yet somehow still come home with more money then she left with (I still don’t know how she did that).
If Six Flags was our destination you could bet that Court and Geordie would spend a majority of their time running the gamut of persuasion tactics, trying to get me to ride ANY of the roller coasters. I’m not a fan of heights or jostling and I knew that no matter how many promises they made me, I would end up riding the ride by myself while they sat together and laughed hysterically (maniacally) at my screams. Eventually one of two things would happen: I’d give in if my Poppy would ride the ride next to me so I didn’t have to sit alone, or I’d convince Court and Geordie to ride the kiddie swings with me in exchange for one terrifying ride on the Texas Giant.
But no matter what crazy rides I’d sit and watch Court and Geordie ride, or how many hours it took before I finally gave in to their bullying, all three of us were in agreement on one thing: we HAD to ride the log ride and Gammy and Poppy HAD to ride it with us. Gammy would sigh and pretend to protest but we all knew she had her hotel shower cap in her purse, ready to place over her perfectly coiffed hair right before the big splash at the end so her hair wouldn’t get ruined by the wet. Geordie would sit in the front because he wanted to get the most wet, followed by Courtney because….well just because it was Courtney and she wasn’t about to go behind me. Then I’d sit behind Court with Gammy shouting about the water jets getting her wet right behind me and sweet Poppy bringing up the rear, yelling at Geordan to, “sit DOWN Geordan Scott you can NOT get out of this ride while we are moving!”
Last night I said goodbye to my now grown up cousin Geordie as he follows God’s calling on his life and moves to Hawaii. At this point it is unclear whether this will be a short term move or whether it will become something more permanent, but what is clear is that Geordie has become one of the most driven, passionate, heartfelt men I have ever had the privilege of calling mine. And he is mine; my cousin, almost more like my brother, and my friend. He is incredibly intelligent, ridiculously talented, utterly hilarious, and a modern day David; a man after God’s own heart. I am so fiercely proud of who he has become and who God is shaping him to be. But I’m also utterly heartbroken at losing him. We were like the Three Muskateers growing up, me, Courtney, and Geordie, and when Courtney moved away I felt like I was losing a part of myself but I still had Geordie. We’d joke around and take pictures at holidays with a space in between us for Courtney. At the last couple of family dinners, Courtney would fly back home to visit and it’d be us girls taking a picture with a space for Geordie in the middle, as he was off traveling to different countries, speaking on Christ’s love and leading others to know that love.
But now they have both moved away from our home, Courtney to California and now Geordie to Hawaii. And a part of me aches to be those little kids again sliding around in the back seat using walkie talkies to tell knock knock jokes to truck drivers. I’d probably even ride a couple of those death trap roller coasters, just so I could spend time with those two crazy kids again.
But life doesn’t work that way. Sometimes life calls us in different directions and we leave the ones we love to follow our dreams and the path that God has called us to. And it can hurt and it can be scary but it can also be amazing and an adventure and that’s what I pray for Geordie. That this move will be an adventure, one that brings him joy and enlightenment and memories like no other. That he will know Christ on a deeper level, that he will learn things about himself he never thought possible, and one day he will come home and visit with his two cousins and laugh about all the crazy things we did as kids and look back in wonder and thankful amazement at the unique lives God has given us each to live.
Aloha Geordan Scott. I miss you already. Thank God for skype.