My little cousin Noah was the light of my life. Both of us being Asian, adopted, and the only children of identical(ish) twins, he was for all intents and purposes my brother. I remember when my aunt and uncle finally returned from Taraz, Kazakhstan; holding him and wondering at his delicate existence in open adoration, I couldn’t help but feel connected and protective. He was so small, yet so strong– stronger than he looked. For he proceeded to prove himself and his resilience through the art of motion: scootering and biking, climbing and ninja-ing, skiing and snowboarding, skateboarding and skim boarding, here-boarding and there-boarding and everywhere flying feats of the superheroic, special kid he was. He was a survivor, our beloved Aldanysh, whom the world loved as much as he loved it. Whom our family loves so, so much. Cleveland, Lewisburg, Rochester, the Finger Lakes, Sarasota, the Outer Banks, St. Peter, Philly—wherever, whenever we came together, he would be the first to hug us hello and the last to hug us goodbye. I imagine him now, arms outstretched, embracing reality with his easy smile and enthusiastic vitality, a joyous “Yay family!” lingering in the silence still. I would follow him to the end of eternity.
I miss the simplicity of when we were young. I mourn the loss of so light a life. Yet my little cousin Noah is, and will continue to be, a warm, glowing memory. Noah, I love you, I love you, I love you.