Now just a warning that this post might be a bit boring because it's most definitely for myself.
When I was little I always used to go to my grandparents' house during the summer and every year my Grandfather's brother would bring up his family for the 4th of July. Somehow, my memories of those times aren't all that great, but I always remember one person above everyone else, my 2nd cousin Nathan. Now when I was just a little tyker Nathan's older brother Jason, who was also one of my great loves as a child, decided to give Nate a nickname and from then on he became my Snuggle Bunny.
Snuggle Bunny, or SB for the lazy typers, is my closest cousin in age and he is 9 years older than me and he was my idol. I'd follow him around, want to do everything with him, would want to take naps with him and he was forever getting stuck as my watcher and caretaker if I went outside. My Mother and Grandmother used to laugh at how when I'd call him SB he'd give me an evil scowl but when no one was looking he was all about cuddling and loving on me.
As we got older his parents began skipping years to visit and since they lived in Florida I really never went to visit them. Then Nathan got into drugs, a serious amount of drugs, and stealing and just trouble...and it continued on through his teen years. My family tried to hide it from me of course, but kids always hear more than what they're told and my opinion of him didn't change in the least. He continued on with the drugs until his 20s and I would see him ever so often and he would try and hang out with me but it never worked out well since I was the young cousin and all of the olders always wanted to go off and do things. It was also awkward because he was at the drinking age and I was still a little kid to him so we grew a bit apart.
Then he got arrested and it scared him enough that he decided to turn his life around and was working for a Construction company that his girlfriends' Dad owned. Even though they broke up later the Dad liked him so much that he gave him a start and SB started his own construction company that did well for quite a while. Then something happened and Nathan started drinking...and then he got lazy, and then the economy in FL got bad and he had to close down the company and now he's basically out of work, and living with a new girlfriend and what's worse, now he's back into his old ways.
I haven't seen Nathan in a few years now...I talked to him a year ago and told him I'd call him back then life happened and I never did. When I got to see him I of course begged him not to wait years to come and see me, that I missed him terribly and he would always promise but never show up with his parents.
Tonight my Mother told me about how he got back into drugs and stealing, and how if anyone tries to talk to him about it, or getting a job he turns violent and angry. She said the only person that can talk to him about it is his big sister Jessica, who I also shadowed when I was little. Then Mom was saying how he won't go to rehab and that she thinks the only way he'll get out of it again is if he gets arrested or dies and I got to thinking. I want so terribly much, for my favorite cousin Nathan to be at my wedding whenever or if ever I get married, and I want to see him again and that even though I don't see him hardly at all anymore if he died I think it would crush my heart. So I called my Aunt Linda, his mother and I asked for his cellphone number and I called him tonight.
I was so nervous about what I would say, or what he would say that my hands shook as the phone rang and when he answered the phone he sounded so angry. "Hello?" He said in a gruff tone and I hesitated. "Ah...um...Nathan?" I said, unsure and he snapped back. "Speaking." I felt a bit more nervous and said quickly "Uh hi, this is Kate? You know, your cousin...Kate?" I hardly got my name out the second time and his voice completely changed. "Kate?! Jesus Kate! How are you doing? What are you up to? Oh my god it's so good to hear from you." I felt the tension drain out of me and I knew, just knew that I probably made his whole night by calling him. Of course, he was stoned and he repeated some things, but he also kept me on the phone for half an hour, making me tell him as many details out of my life as he could get. He told me he was just about to eat dinner with his girlfriend Amy and I quickly stuttered out that if he needed it go, it was fine, I didn't want to interrupt him or anything and he quickly shot back "What? No! Kate, you're not interrupting me, you'll never interrupt me, I love hearing from you, it's so good to hear from you. You absolutely have to call me again." He made me promise a few times during the conversation I would, and he told me I could talk to him about anything, that we could be honest with each other no matter what, so I tested it. "Since we can be honest, will you tell me if you're stoned or not?" He hesitated then gave a nervous laugh before confirming, and I smiled...glad that he wouldn't lie.
In the end of the conversation he left because the Orlando Magics were about to play and he once again told me to call him, and I will.
I want my Snuggle Bunny to be at my wedding, so I'm going to make sure he lives long enough to be there. I have my foot in the door now, and obviously, he'll talk to me about things so my new mission in life is to help him dig his way out of his hole again...wish me luck.