They were right when they said age doesn’t matter when you’re in love. There can’t be a more perfect example than my relationship with this wonderful woman of God.
Her name is Elizabeth Yanga but she hates her first name so she goes by the nickname Lysha. Now that’s one unique nickname, yes? Anyway, we’re cousins. If you haven’t connected the dots yet, I’ll spell it for you: her dad and my mom are siblings, so we’re actually not just cousins but first-degree cousins. What’s more, our parents are (I believe) the closest to each other among their family of six, so that translates to our families being close to each other as well. In fact, our families have these monthly Sunday lunches in which we eat anywhere and everywhere just because we’re food junkies like that.
Ate Lysha and I go to the same church (with her dad as its Senior Pastor) and we’ve been on the same ministry (music) since 2003. We started becoming close that year, but prior to that we were very much distant. Sure, we’re cousins and all, but the age was a big barrier. I was still young then. Back then, when we visit our province in Bulacan I would be playing with my paper dolls while she’s too cool and mature for me.
Eventually, though, we became best of friends, although at first, out of convenience. That year (2003) we were preparing for a musical concert, and because my brother and I live in Laguna, it’s inconvenient to go home during Saturday nights only to go back to church the following day. So we tend to sleep over at their place, and voila! Forced once-a-week co-habitation is equal to instant bond of course. (Btw, if you still don’t know yet, I attend the Community of the Resurrected Christ International, Inc. or CRC in short, and it is located at Quezon City).
As time went by we became extremely close: she told me stories (of her life and love) that I only heard for the first time, being my young and innocent self, of course. That time, I always sided with her. I wanted her to be happy, so I helped her by all means. Even if it endangered my life (exaggeration intended), I was willing to go that extra mile just for her. I loved her that much.
And I love her still.
Looking back, I never once complained that I didn’t have a sister. OK, so maybe there was this one time, but it wasn’t a lasting sentiment. And I’d like to believe it’s because of Ate Lysha. We call each other “the sisters we never had” because she only has one brother as a sibling, just like me. Is it fate? It must be. It’s too beautiful a coincidence. I’d like to think when God created me, He already knew that a blood sister won’t do, and Ate Lysha is the perfect person to fit the sister role.
I was witness to her ups and downs as much as she was witness to my ups and downs. Nothing could be any more perfect than what we have. Better than blood sisters, better than best friends. We’re better than all these labels, because this is special. What’s more, this is eternal.
It’s either I matured too early for my age, or she’s too young for her age, but in retrospect, it really is a wonder how we became partners-in-crime. Age doesn’t matter when you’re in love, did they not say? And no words can express–even this entry fails to deliver–how much I love her. For everything, all time, every time. I guess I don’t have to try to spell it all out in this entry because I still have many years to express all of them, little by little, until all has been said completely. And I tell you, the years to come that would be spent together would surely be wonderful, beautiful years. It’s exciting (and an honor) to be part of her life. :”)
Here are some photos of the lovely Lysha Yanga, God’s promise to my life and to many more 🙂
For two people who claim to be vain, we don’t have decent photos of the two of us. Let’s take more photos with our high-tech cameras. PHOTOSHOOT SOON!!! Let’s tag all the other girls as well. I’m sure that would be a great time.
And we always have a great time, whether it’s just the two of us or if we are with the whole gang. Maybe we are the life of the party (CHOS) but the truth is, we never run out of things to talk about, stories to share, and lessons to learn. I guess we’ve always had the abundance of them words, being the writers that we are of course. *wink*
I don’t know what to say but thank you. Thank you for putting up with my rants that I admit I’ve dragged on for so long already that it’s not even normal anymore. But you still listened, and you didn’t care even if I was (I think) already annoying. I love you for always being there for me no matter what. I remember that conversation we’ve had about best friends. We may have our different circles of friends, but I think in the end I still run to you because I know that when all else fails, at least you won’t. You never will. For me, no one else can take your place as my older sister, my jiejie, my Ate Lysha. And no one can be a better sister to me than you already are. You’re my idea of a perfect sister, and boy am I blessed!
I pray and hope that we may continue to grow in Him more and more, until we can grasp at least a bit of His beauty and write about it. Or if writing still won’t do, at least we can talk about it during our sleepovers and cell groups! I’m sure we’ll have more of that in the future.
Lately I’ve been asking myself if the people I’m surrounded with now will be the same people I’ll be with 5-10 years from now. I guess there would be inevitable changes, but I know one thing: we’ll stick together ’til the end, ’til eternity even. Benefits of being relatives-slash-bestfriends? 🙂
I love you, and I want to tell you what Camille told me: THANK YOU FOR EXISTING 🙂
In faith, hope and love,