Who’s the glue that keeps cousins connected?


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My dad and my aunt  were a major factor in keeping our families together when we were growing up and even after we were grown and had kids of our own.

I can remember my mom helping me get ready on a hot summer day, making sure my face was scrubbed and my sundress freshly ironed for a Sunday family outing with the cousins. Of course, the aunts and uncles were there as well, but I always felt like one of Charlie Brown’s group and we kids were on our own. On this particular summer Sunday, we packed up our picnic and went to Riverside, CA, to see a Faron Young concert. I had no idea Faron Young was a country singer and I barely knew what a concert was, but I was excited as only a kid can be to know I was going to see my cousins.

Above is a picture of us at our picnic after the concert. I have no recollection of the concert, but this picnic I remember vividly.

z20              z33z32z19   z21I’ve grouped the cousins according to family, and unfortunately, I don’t have pictures of all the cousins–and technically I cheated and slipped in one picture of a second cousin who always makes a huge effort to research the family history. I find when I wade through family albums, I come face-to-face with old memories and emotions that I thought I’d forgotten, but come flooding back when I look at those faded old sepia photos. I find the story of my childhood tells me who I am and who I want to be. I stare hungrily, trying to remember where I’ve been and where I’m going. Through Facebook I do manage to stay connected with some cousins, but many have slipped away and all that is left are the memories.

It’s a lot of work keeping families in touch, especially when the elders pass on, because quite frankly, the younger generations often get too busy to keep it together. But in fairness to our family, my cousin Peg from the West Coast, and my cousin Jackie from the South have made an effort every year to reconnect the families as much as possible. They are having a birthday party for one of my aunt’s who will be celebrating her ninetieth birthday in March. I’ll be on a Marion pilgrimage with my daughter at that time, but hopefully, I can vicariously share their time together through Facebook pictures. But I have to say kudos to these cousins who are still making the effort to keep the family connected.

Families are precious and we should take the time to nurture and cherish those close to us, and not forget those who are far away. Whether we see one another or not, we still share some of the same genes and the same memories who make us who we are and we should love and bless each other no matter where we are. And we should thank our parents who took the time to give us those opportunities to know and love one another.


Thank you for being a part of my family!

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