On my maternal side alone, I have more than seventy cousins and great-cousins. seventy. When you have that many cousins, you are bound to have one your own age, right? My cousin Brian and I are three months apart. Our moms enrolled us in the same kindergarten, and we attended school together all the way through college.

We grew up together, took the same classes, hung out with the same friends, and he became not just a cousin but the closest thing I had to a brother. I could call him for advice about a problem, or for help on our Latin class homework, or because friends were coming over to hang out and he needed to, too.

I've never heard Brian say anything mean about anyone, and I've never seen him angry. He is quick to laugh and eager to listen and ready with encouragement. Brian's the kind of guy who makes the people around him better people.

After college, Brian worked and lived abroad and finished a master's degree, and I didn't get to see him much. He was off changing the world (the planet, more specifically, because he works with environmental causes.) And in the past year, he's landed in Washington DC to do more world-changing things.

But he came to our hometown this winter because our grandpa - the grandfather of all seventy of us - passed away. And though we mourned Grandpa T, we were happy to all be together. And I was happy to meet Virginia.

I had heard about this Virginia and had facebook stalked her the best I could, but when I finally met her that weekend, I could see that Brian had found his match. Virginia overflows with joy -  and not like syrupy cheerfulness either, but the real joy that comes from the Lord. She's made it her work to serve the under-served and love those who need it the most. She's a world-changer, too.

So, they're perfect together.

A couple months ago, these two super-people decided to get married. And all is right with the world. And so I made them a lap quilt. Happy wedding to my dear brother-cousin-friend and my new (soon-to-be) cousin (in-law) Virginia. I hope this quilt gets to be witness to the lives that will changed because of your presence in them.

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