13 September 2010

A Family is a Family is a Family

Firstly, if you haven't seen the documentary with the title name, please go watch it. It's very sweet and makes you cry a little.

This weekend was Kevin's family reunion. We were a little hesitant because this was one of the few family gatherings we've had since Uncle Don & Aunt Susie died. Nothing makes a death so much more obvious than a family gathering.

To add to that, a large portion of the cousins have moved away. My mother-in-law's sister died of brain cancer not long after Kevin & I began dating. She had four daughters, the youngest (twins) were seventeen-ish. Long story short, the twins married Air Force pilots and moved away. They now live in Missouri & Kansas, quite near each other. In time, both of the older sisters moved down there to recreate their own family. So that takes away four cousins and no, I am not kidding, thirteen children.

The m-i-l's two surviving siblings arrived with their adult and nearly adult children. The cousins that are Don & Susie's children also made the trip north with both of their sons, one of which has a serious girlfriend/fiancee.

It's odd for me to sit back and see these "kids" as grown adults. It feels very time-warpish. As if you are suddenly trapped in a television melodrama and scrolling through the montage with Cats in the Cradle playing in the background.

Kevin's parents also invited m-i-l's best friend and her son, who works for Kevin now. (yeah, that's not awkward at all) We have become their family as everyone in theirs has moved away or passed on. She was so excited to hear that us "kids" were on The Facebook and that we would friend her. (that night)

We realized also that we've become the adults of the family, whereas we're used to being the kids. The younger cousins now see us as the grown-ups, the family matriarch/patriarchs. Soon young Kevin (named for his uncle) will be graduating high school. His eldest sister is going to the university near my work & works at one of my favorite mocha stands. It is my hope that serendipitous forces like that continue to keep the family in contact.

Oh, and I nearly forgot: my nephew. My nephew who is becoming a step-daddy to five kids. The neighborhoods volume increased exponentially upon their arrival.

There's a line in Peggy Sue Got Married when Peggy tells her grandmother, "We never see the cousins since you died". It's my fear that, while probably inevitable, that doesn't happen.

Especially when one of Kevin's cousins who is this big tough guy always makes a point of kissing me on the cheek, hugging me, and saying "We'll see you again soon."

A Family is a Family is a Family. Even if the young cousins move away, we will still be a family. We can add or subtract numbers as time goes by but it doesn't change the definition.

1 comment:

creative kerfuffle said...

i hear ya. later this month we are going to wv to attend the wedding of one of my cousins. i am the oldest of all of my first cousins (there are 12 of us) and this "kid" is in his early 20s. i still remember babysitting him when he was in diapers. also later this month the second youngest cousin (who's 18-19) is going active duty to the middle east. these things make me feel old.