Sunday, January 31, 2010

Cousin love ...

You know how you have a special love for certain people in your life? Like the love for your children ~ which nothing can match ~ or say the love you have for your one and only sister ... or your grandchildren? Well, there are categories of folk in my life who I have a unique love for, that I can't compare with any other kind of love ... it's just how it is!

I actually have 18 cousins ... yes, 18! And each one of these cousins is on my father's side of the family. My mom was an only child whose own mother had died when she was 16. And then her father, my grandpa, died when I was about 9. I don't remember much about him at all. So really, we just had my father's side of the family ~ so there was my dad, and his four younger sisters and their families.

Growing up in Detroit, three of the families lived in the area ~ but two of them lived out of state. When they would come "home" it was always a real big happy occasion and we would get together over at my grandma's house on the other side of Detroit and do what cousins do ... play together, talk, interact, etc. As we got older and into our teens, the cousins nearest our own ages became special friends.
Yesterday, FIVE of my cousins that I never ever get to see were here in Grand Rapids. Their uncle Bob (on their dad's side of the family ... not a relative of mine) had gone home to be with Jesus rather unexpectedly. This uncle Bob was a member of the church I attend here in Grand Rapids and that's where his funeral was held yesterday. So my beautiful cousins were in town. I did know their uncle Bob, but not very well. However, I attended the funeral because I wanted to hug my cousins and give them my condolences.

So the picture above is my cousin Suz (on the left), who has just recently moved with her family to the state of Washington (near Spokane), and Beth (on the right) who lives in Madison, Wisconsin. Beth and I are about 18 months apart. She is a really wonderful person. But I am actually "closer" to Suz, who is more than four years younger than me. Suz and I are "kindred spirits" ... totally. I love her heart so much.
Here is Suz with HER cousin (not MY cousin) Bobby (son of the deceased), as well as Mary, the youngest of these five beautiful sisters. Mary and her husband and two boys live in Pennsylvania. Mary is a "take-charge" kind of girl and it's a blast to watch her do crowd control! And then with them below is Annie (the redhead in the middle) who lives in the Wheaton, IL area with her husband and two daughters. Annie is one of the nicest and funniest people I have ever ever met.
After the funeral reception, we all went out to dinner ... 23 of us ... in about 8 different vehicles with the women on cell phones trying to coordinate our location and destination ... at one point it reminded me of a scene out of "Mad Mad Mad Mad World" when all of the cars were chasing each other, etc. because we kept going to restaurants that were overflowing with waiting customers, with NO ROOM for us! We finally called ahead (duh) and were able to find a restaurant to accommodate us. We had such a good time together ~ sharing memories ~ catching up on news ~ laughing until we were screaming (!) ~ just being together.

I drove home last night FULL of incredible thankfulness and JOY ... a sense of well-being ~ of loving and being loved ~ refreshed and restored and just happy through and through! The only sad thought I had was that our 10 grandchildren live so far away from each other ~ and even though they are cousins, will likely never know each other very well or experience the joy of this cousin love ...


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Emily said...

Sounds like you had fun with your cousins. Did Dad Jones get an e-mail from Adam for a possible computer solution?

Mom Jones said...

Hi Emily,

No ... I don't think so at least. Grandpa Jones hasn't mentioned an e-mail from Adam ... but he's been really swamped working on friends' train layout computer stuff and he is away tonight. I'll check with him later ... a solution would be very nice! :)

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