She was independent, well dressed, well coiffed and the first in the family to graduate college. She is my cousin Lisa. In fact, she was my favorite cousin. Lisa was a full-time student at Coppin State College majoring in business administration, and she worked full-time to support herself. There was a spirit about her that told you she would accomplish great things because she was an independent thinker, and her steps were dramatically different from those of her two sisters and brother. Her "reach" was broader. She was striving for things that no one in her immediate family dared to even dream about. Lisa was the life of our family gatherings because of her quick wit, slick tongue and over the top laugh that beckoned your attention.
After years of dating this guy she met through our cousin she virtually abandoned her dreams, goals, aspirations and life to be with him. She lost herself in him. She was no longer the person she was when they met. If I had the wisdom then I would have told her, as I often tell women now, "A man is only interested if you're interesting".
Rumors were swirling that he was seeing another woman, but she didn't want to believe it even when some of our relatives confirmed it. Her mission became: become his wife and have his child; which in retrospect I believe she only had his baby with thoughts of securing the relationship, but it didn't. He married the girl he was cheating with and moved to Virginia.
As a result, my cousin "checked out" on life. She literally lost her mind. She spent time in and out of psychiatric wards because she suffered a nervous breakdown. I believe it became too much for her to deal with when he completely disconnected from her. Not only is Lisa estranged from the family, she has no relationship with the child she gave birth to because of her mental illness.
I came across these videos that are apropos. It speaks to strength. Sadly, some men only respond to strength because they won't or can't understand weakness. It's brash, but honest.
I often wonder what would've become of Lisa had she mustered the strength to move on with her life...
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