I'm waiting for "The Voice" to come on. I love that show, everything about it--the coaches, the talent, the drama.
So, waiting for "The Voice" I thought I'd reflect on "The Life" I've had and have. Somehow that seemed right.
I came upon a 2016 Christmas letter I wrote to my first cousins. I'm an only child but I had 17 older first cousins--all but three on my mother's side of the family. Most of them lived very near or 'near' to me and I saw them a great deal growing up. Some of them helped raise me--like Mejol Perkins and Gail Pugh. Mejol went on vacation with my mom and dad and me for most of my childhood. When they thought they weren't going to have children they sort of adopted Mejol as their 'sort of' daughter. So she was my 'sort of' sister for years. Mejol and I drove together from Baltimore to Charleston for Aunt Elsie's funeral.
I had seen some of my cousins at my last aunt's funeral--four or five of them, I think--and some younger second cousins (or third, who knows) from my father's side of the family. The Jones' (my mom's) kept meticulous notice of the family tree ('2nd cousin once removed', like that). The Bradley's were very flexible about relationship. I called second cousins 'aunt' and 'uncle' for much of my childhood.
My first cousins--mostly from my mom's side--were omnipresent in my growing up. The Pugh's, the Perkin's and the Jones' were always there.
I was the youngest of all those until my Aunt Elsie and Uncle Harvey adopted Denise. She was younger than me and I hope she felt my presence as I felt all those cousins in my life.
I live serial lives. I 'move on'. My son still has dear friends from his high school years. I have only one. I move on. And in all that and by moving to New England, I left my cousins behind. I regret it, but it's the way I am. (I saw a woman who I knew very well from St. John's, Waterbury today. We hugged and talked. I didn't remember her husband's name. "How's Bob?" I asked. "Ray," she said. Like I said, I move on. I don't mean to, I just do. I live in the present.
Anyway, in my letter to my cousins, I said this: "we have been profoundly blessed over the years with health and joy and our little family."
And I have been. Profoundly blessed by my cousins and my my 'little family'.
That's what I've been pondering, waiting for "The Voice".
Ponder your life. Find the blessings. Embrace them and give thanks....
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