Thoughts on Cousins

An unusual thing happened this year. I’ve visited with more of my cousins than I have since I was a girl. Why is that unusual? My cousins and I are not particularly close. In contrast, Hubby’s family has cousin reunions and a round-robin letter between cousins that’s been going for decades. He knows most of his cousins and sees them somewhat regularly. That’s great!

In my family, cousins have gone their separate ways. I haven’t seen any of the my cousins on my mother’s side of the family for many decades. I’m wondering if a couple of them have fallen off the edge of the earth since I neither heard anything of them or know where they are. Things changed this summer when I visited three of them. They were some of the nicest people I’ve met, and they’ve done some amazing things. One served in the Navy on a nuclear submarine. One has done very well working for a manufacturing firm. He’s the nicest guy who would do anything for anybody. The one girl cousin I visited with was a nurse, and now works as a minister of a church. Amazing people. In their faces, I saw the children I played with as a girl. We’re all young again and happy memories come out of the long-lost files in my mind. I hope we can stay in touch in the future, now that we’ve met again.

I’ve had contact with my mother’s cousins, which makes them my cousins once removed. Cherry is 101 years old and loves reading my books. Marty lives close to Boise, and we’ve had some lunches together. They’re really nice people too, and I feel blessed that I know them.

On my dad’s side of the family, I have a bunch of cousins. I saw most of them about 15 years ago at a family reunion. I hardly knew them and I certainly didn’t know their kids. They were total strangers to me. The reunion came and went, and we all went back to our isolationist ways to some degree. I’m friends with them on FaceBook so I’ve gotten acquainted a little through that. Once again, social media has provided a method for reaching out to others.

My kids are much older than their cousins. That gap in ages somewhat hindered a close relationship from developing when they were kids. Then we moved away and that made it even harder for my kids to enjoy their cousins. As they’ve become adults and the age gap matters less, I hope they will all find a way to stay in touch. After all, they have common roots on once side of their families and might be surprised what all they have in common.

I’m wondering if other people interact with their cousins and other family members. Do you? Do any other families still do the round-robin packages? Send me a comment and let me know.

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