Growing up I always had a thing about favourites. I wanted to be the favourite daughter, the favourite student, the favourite friend, every favourite you can name of, I want to know that I am a favourite to a person. I want to make sure that there is a teacher who likes me the best. I’ve asked my parents whom between them loves me more (never got an answer from it so I just assumed). I made sure that my chosen best friend in grade school’s favourite friend is also me. And I get really upset if I am not.
And the thing is, I try really hard and put effort so I can be someone’s favourite. But I learned that favouring someone over others is sometimes unexplainable. I can compare it almost to a gut feel. There is just a connection that is deeper than the relationship, and goes beyond what is obvious. There is no logic to it. It’s like falling in love.
I’ve never really had a favourite person. I loved my parents. I semi liked my sister. I had a best friend by label. I have people I look up to but never a favourite until I realized it was my younger cousin Janina. We started off as family but we chose to remain as one. We share so much more than blood. There is an unbreakable bond. Our lives are so connected that the stories we share although some are already blurry or fading away, will always have a special place in my heart. And when I moved continents I thought the relationship will naturally fade but it never did. We kept it as if we were still together. If anything it only became stronger.
She’s my person when I need to vent out because she will understand and she would never judge. She’s my person when I need to tell a weird story or a memory or something that I just need a connection with. She gives me comfort even just through words. She never lets me down when I need her. She’ll always offer a laugh and a positive note that whenever we finish our chat, I always feel lighter and happier.
Janina, I wish I could have been there for you now to comfort you, to hug you, to talk whatever, to laugh at all the silly nonsensical things we laugh at. I wish there was not a pandemic sweeping through the nation so we could have celebrated you, and your next stage of your life. But alas here we are both and the whole world in isolation. There is a reason. And we will realize it in the future but for now, God said to wait.
Janina, our middle names are the same which accounts for something. My mom said Tito Cery asked her if he can use the same one for you. And I’m so happy he did choose that same name. Because from then to now, we have more than blood that connects us. We even share a name that God has blessed us both with. And guess what “Ana” means? FAVOR! And this is one of the reasons why you will always be my favourite. As Korean dramas go, “we are fated”.
Happy birthday, Janina Ana!
Always here for you,