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We were supposed to hang out the night before it all, but of course life has its ways of working out for the better.

His truck is a dusty mess; big tools, clothes, unopened Strongbow’s and paperwork are everywhere. But that passenger seat feels just like home to me. It’s a necessary thing when life feels like its lost you to find – and be – wherever it feels like home.

He tells me to wait and clears the seat of its junk, puts a gross cigarette in his mouth with a Nicorette patch on his arm, and turns to me with his impossibly ever-present smile. We get each other and I just know, it’s time to just let go.

Cousin Jordan is one of those handsome kids with charisma that everyone loves. When we’d walk through the halls at the hospital to visit Grams he’d wave to all the patients, acting as though he knew most of them by name. They all look at him confused but smitten, because that’s what Jordan does, he leaves you feeling a strange amount of things.

I didn’t know him well enough before last summer, but life has its way, right?

I spent a week with him and my sweet friend with the wild hair at his place in Penticton last August and was thoroughly annoyed and admiring of him by the end of it, because, that’s what Jordan does. We played Connect Four and drank B.C. Cherry Vodka at distilleries, watched his fast boat steal our belongings and offer them as a sacrifice to the lake while we listened to Dr. Dre; laughing uncontrollably at absolutely nothing and everything.

We wondered about our family, our history, and sat in silence confused about our future. I’d remind him of hope, and he’d say “Oh for sure,” and remind me he didn’t want to talk about Jesus.

But when you get each other, it isn’t necessary to talk about anything, not really anyways.

During that season, he spent a lot of his time at the hospital and inside Gramps house offering a glass of whiskey and simple company. He’d call me, tell me about it all, and let me know when it felt a bit too much.

And when we’d finished saying final goodbyes to Grams, he cleared the seat in that dirty old farm boy truck for me to feel at home. And we drove.

We drove down gravel roads and with dirt flying up my nose we sang Garth Brooks’ greatest hits at the top of our lungs. We said a few sad or stupid things, argued about my love life, and went back to singing louder than the truck rushing along the road.

Just last week, Cousin Jordan showed up at my house to take me to a concert I was already committed to, but couldn’t really afford. He told me selling the tickets was stupid, and we’d make a night of it. “I’m gettin’ you black-out drunk, I can’t even wait!” He joked with that smile.

I put on some shorts, hopped in that truck, and waited less than a minute before the cigarette was lit and hanging from the side of his mouth while he turned the music up loud. We sang Despacito and old country songs at the top of our lungs and drove into the city for a good old country show. And I let my hair whip in the wind as I thought to myself about how life has its way, and, how good it feels when find yourself at home.

Some people do that – they make you feel at home. I hope one day I’ll look so carefree while investing so deeply, so well, into the lives of everyone around me. I hope one day we’ll all have bits of that inside us all, so when people see us, they know they’ll be left feeling all sorts of beautiful, wild, silly, hopeful things.

A long time ago, we sat at her table – she with creamy tea, me with her watered-down coffee – looking at photos from her life. There she was with grandpa, young and in love, laughing beside an old car while Gramps held her tight. There were pictures of her as a new wife, a nurse, a mom, and as a kid too, laughing beside her brother at 12-years-old.

She told me while we were looking through those old black and white photos that her mother turned to her often to say, “Joyce, you laugh at the strangest times!”

And that, is the legacy of my grandma. This is the legacy of Joyce. Read the rest of this entry »