In times past cousins were a big part of my life. My Mother had four sisters and one brother. Five siblings make for lots of nieces and nephews which related to cousins for me. A total of about eighteen first cousins. We didn’t see all of these cousins at every family event, but the oldest of these interacted and kept in touch most of their adult life.
When Grandma was alive, and still cooking, there were traditional family events when we all got together. This was only a couple of times a year. In order to fit the crowd into Grandma’s five-room apartment Mom and Dad would disassemble Grandma’s bed, stand it up against the bedroom wall, and open the French doors from the Parlour into the Bedroom creating one larger room for the dining table.
While the adults talked their talk around that table, (no idea what they discussed so adamantly), we (cousins, my sister and I) would disappear into one of the small bedrooms and play. While we were pretty young at the time we still split into factions. The older girls, Catherine, Terry and Myself, would never let the littler kids play with us. We took it so far as to insist someone take a picture of the three of us with our pocket books slung over our shoulders. We begin posing for this picture at about three years old and continued to have the “pocket-book picture” taken until Catherine passed away several years ago. We always stood in the same order and never allowed the younger kids to stand with us for this picture. It was a not so subtle way of torturing them. After Catherine left us Terry and I decided never to take the pocket-book picture again. It just wouldn’t be the same
There was many busy, growing up, years when the cousins drifted apart. Weddings, babies, surviving all took precedent. When our own children were older we began to make it a point to get together for summer holidays. A lot of fun and silliness went on at these events and the family link was reestablished. But as time will, it took from us many of our loved ones and we realize how precious the moments we all spent together were.
On Saturday I went to a surprise Birthday Party thrown for my Cousin Camille and her Husband Mike. She was one of the littler kids in those by gone days. Several of my first and second cousins were there and it was lovely. We ate, laughed, sang, caught up on our separate lives, and reminisced about those who could no longer join us.
If I had it to do all over again, I would see my cousins more.