"A cousin is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost."
Marion C. Garretty
I dedicate this post to my Aunt Peggy and our friend Joe. A life well-lived and a life taken too soon. I wrote this on an airplane traveling from one funeral to the next and what kept coming to my mind was how grateful I am for cousins.
When I was at my aunt's funeral and saw my cousins, a flood of memories came back to me about our times together growing up. Holiday dinners, skiing, and swim team, to name a few. The memories made me smile and laugh, and it made me sad to think how time has passed and how long it's been since I've seen them. It took a funeral to bring us together. But life happens. We grew up and went our separate ways and had families of our own. However, the bond and memories remain, and they will never leave us. My cousins are blood relatives, but other cousins exist too.
Cousins born from friendship.
Often friends become family, and the children become cousins, as was the case with Joe and his girls. We were friends at a time in our lives when we didn't have relatives nearby, so we became family. We celebrated births, and birthdays, baptisms, and first communions. We had holiday traditions that included trips to the pumpkin patch and sleigh rides to see Santa. We laughed together, and we cried together. And then life happened. We went our separate ways, but the memories are forever near and dear.
This month's theme was sitting with gratitude. The passing of my aunt and our friend made me reflect on the gratitude I hold for these two people who touched my life, precious memories, and cousins.
Whether they are blood relatives or friends that become family, cousins hold a special place in our lives.
Cherish the memories.
Reach out to a cousin just to say "hi" and check-in, send a Christmas Card, plan a family reunion. Don't wait until a funeral to get in touch.
In conclusion, I want to share two special thoughts from the eulogies given by my cousin and Joe's cousin, respectively:
God never sends you into a situation alone.
God goes before you.
He walks beside you.
He walks behind you.
Whatever situation you have right now.
God is with you.
"We won't need a light to know where Joe is...just watch his children continue to grow." During the funeral, a light beamed down through the stained glass window above the altar. I believe Joe was shining brightly upon us all, but especially his children.
Walking the Journey with You,
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