Cousins

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My husband and I were commenting the other day and wondering why it seems to take a funeral; to get together with cousins that you have not seen in a long time. Another observation we made was how much laughter there could be at funerals.

It doesn’t seem like laughter and funerals go together but I must confess, around here they do seem to end up that way. This past week an aunt on my mom’s side passed away. She “went home” on Christmas day and her family knew she had the best Christmas ever.

We will be gathering to lay her to rest….and we will be gathering to remember the life she lived. I have a feeling there will be a lot of reminiscing with all the cousins that will be there. I also have a feeling that there will be lots of grins and laughter.

I think that at some points it will resemble a celebration of sorts. A celebration of life lived, a celebration of family gathering, a celebration of what makes family…family.

We will realize that family isn’t perfect and that is okay. We will remember the childhood nights spent at cousins’ homes and games played in those home. For those of us who grew up in our small town….we loved to go to the farm homes of our cousins.

There was always something exciting to do there. You could ride the pigs (when your uncles were not looking), you could stand on top of the cab of an old pickup in the grove and launch yourself onto a gunny sack swing and soar high into the air. There were board games to be played, games of Kick The Can and Moonlight Starlight Hope To See The Ghost Tonight.

You just knew it was a successful time when you went home in the back seat of your parents’ car feeling tired, having a cut on your shin from running into the cistern in the dark and feeling slightly sick from to much running in the heat and too much really sweet Kool-aid.

It was a carefree time to be a kid. There didn’t seem to be any big worries that we had. Some of our biggest concerns were, if we would be able to talk our folks into letting us stay overnight so we could have more time together. We also did our best to talk our folks into letting us each take a chicken home. (Even then I wanted chickens! …. and yes…we were successful on that one.)

There are so many wonderful memories of times spent with cousins on both sides of the family. I was fortunate to have a girl cousin my age on both sides. I went to school with them and spent my childhood years surrounded by cousins of all ages.

I can only hope that in the future my grandchildren will have those same close ties and connections with their cousins. I know they will be miles apart, instead of town blocks apart, but my prayer is that family ties stretch across those many miles.

I hope that someday when those future cousins meet to celebrate my “home-going” there is lots of laughter, lots of love and so many good stories to be told of time spent together at Grandpa and Grandma’s house. Time where they played games, got into a little (only a little) mischief, and made memories that will bond them together for a lifetime.

 

 

A cousin is a little bit of childhood that can never be lost.
Marion C. Garretty

Cousins are those rare people who ask how we are and then wait to hear the answer.
Ed Cunningham

19 thoughts on “Cousins

  1. bcparkison says:

    As the oldest on one side and the second oldest on the other you speak well of cousins. I remember more good times with my grandparents since there weren’t many cousins my age. And now I have a wonderful relation with a cousin ,my age, but really my mothers first cousin who really wasn’t in my life as a child. Life is funny that way but every thing happen for a reason. When my husband passed away she came all the way from Texas just to hug my heck. Some things you never forget.

    Liked by 1 person

    • thechickengrandma says:

      Your family makeup sounds like mine Beverly. I have several cousins near my age that are actually my mom’s first cousins. That might be because my oldest uncle on her side is 20 years older than the youngest uncle! I have an aunt that stood up for me at my wedding because she was more like an older sister than an aunt. Relatives….most of them…are one of the blessings in life.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne Mehrling says:

    I had no first cousins, but I have certainly enjoyed getting to know John’s. We didn’t see much of them until we all retired, but we’ve made up for lost time. Thankfully, we haven’t had a family funeral of a young person. Our relatives died at advanced ages, and our funerals were up-beat family reunions like yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. susieshy45 says:

    Your post is beautiful, Faye. Some philosophy and some life-truths. I wish we could in our family celebrate with happiness the passing over of a relative- it almost never happens that way. There is a lot of weeping and mourning and sadness. I have never heard laughter at these times. Thank you for sharing another perspective on how funerals can be – true celebrations of the lives of the persons who went before us.
    I have read of “Irish wakes”.
    Susie

    Liked by 2 people

    • thechickengrandma says:

      The crying at our funerals are for those left behind who will miss the loved one that has passed away. Tears mingle freely with laughter at funerals of those who have lived life to the full and who have lived life close to the Lord.
      I have also read of Irish wakes but have never experienced one.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. susieshy45 says:

    Faye,
    Your post reminded me to write about a family which had four children- 3 boys and one girl. All 3 boys had cystic fibrosis a very vigorous form of the disease which left them totally incapacitated from birth. By prayer and grace, each of them survived into their 20s. The mum and dad looked after them at home- the mum working at home with ventilators and the nursing care of the children( though she was not a nurse). Finally the mother died, before all her children- of no disease but exhaustion. To her funeral, the entire family, father and four children, all walking( one way or the other) went dressed in formal clothes, suits and tie included, as though they went to a wedding. They celebrated her going to the Lord and never shed a tear. They were an inspiration to the entire community. Of the children only the girl lives now.
    Susie

    Liked by 1 person

  5. goldenbrodie says:

    I love your post and all rings true. Why we wait to be together…well it’s what it is. I have spent countless night wondering why certain friends and family members have drifted…become distant. I have left it to God and he has kept me in the pictures…trying to bring us together.
    Brodie and I wish you a Happy New Year with all of God’s blessings. We’ll make this a golden 2018. Peace

    Liked by 1 person

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