Cousins. . .

Posted by on Sep 7, 2011 in Blog, Home Is Where The Story Starts, Uncategorized |

I was reminded this morning that today is my youngest nephew’s third birthday. Happy Birthday Nathan! How did the baby cousin get to be three anyway. And, for that matter, how did the three oldest nieces get to be sixteen. Unbelievable.


I was alternately tickled and teary while in South Dakota as I watched my nieces and nephews. I would be watching them do something, like sing a song or work at Sonic and in my brain they switched to three years old. . . kind of like that commercial on TV with the dad and his teenage daughter driving by herself for the first time.


I have watched over the years amazed by their sameness—they are all double cousins after all—yet intrigued by the tiny or huge quirkinesses and intricacies of their personalities. You would think coming from the same basic gene pool they would be little cookie cutters but oh, no. They have demonstrated straight from the womb that they are each individually made creations of God and I rejoice at their differences.


I watch now as those differences lead towards different goals, interests, friends, and lives. Sometimes the space between them seems huge but then. . . then they come together.


I saw it right before my eyes when they arrived at Grandma’s one day to have a Thai meal prepared by Aunt Vonda. There was an explosion of cousins bursting into the house and the instant bonding peaceful melee than ensued spoke of the cohesiveness of these people. They were here in their original spot. Their heads were bent close, they stood in teenage huddles or bounced around the basement making lots of noise depending on which group they belonged to. They were simply together again without all of the new intrusions. My heart sang. I dragged them to the back yard for photos and their love for each other shined in the choices they made for photos.


I’ve experienced this myself with each reunion in Broken Bow with my Jones cousins. It doesn’t matter if it has been two years or four years. When we go there we are bound by memories, family ties, our sameness and our differences.


This past weekend I had the difficult opportunity to experience it with my McKnight cousins when we met to say goodby to the first of our cousins to go to heaven. My first “younger” McKnight cousin—the one Cheryl and I tried to mother—left the constraints of her pain wracked body behind and stepped onto heaven’s shores. She got her Grandpa and Grandma hugs and we are thankful she is in no more pain.


But yet, we miss the intelligent, beautiful, hilarious Lisa that made us eleven. We weren’t ready for this, but then, would we ever be? I don’t know.


So, if you are a young cousin, a middle-aged cousin, or even an older cousin hold them tight. Remember that your similarities are so much more important than your differences. These are the people who know you—the good, the bad, and the ugly and love you anyway.