I was very fortunate while growing up. You're familiar with the saying, "It takes a village" aren't you?I know, from first hand knowledge that this is true. As a young kid roaming the suburban tree lined streets just outside of Philadelphia, the village that helped raise me consisted of my next door neighbor, and my Aunt and Uncle who lived about 2 blocks away.
Aunt Jane and Uncle Fred, they had 5 kids. They lived between my house and the grade school that I walked to. Guess how many times I walked into that house. Thousands. Guess how many lunches I ate at Aunt Jane's house? Thousands. (When my mom made my lunch, she cut the sandwich squarely in half. Aunt Jane always cut my sandwich from corner to corner, diagonally, you know?) Guess how many times I "slept over" their house? Thousands.
You can probably imagine how close I was to my 5 cousins. Like siblings actually.
But then we all get older, and get jobs and move and get married and have kids and...well, a natural drift takes place. But that was 35 years ago or so. I only live about 1 hour from most of them. It's been years since I've seen them. ( Funerals don't count.) No excuse.
A few weeks ago I attended a little "retirement" party. You see, my cousin Mimi retired. Yes, the same Mimi who lived 2 blocks away when I was a kid, the same Mimi I saw almost daily while growing up.
The whole gang showed up. Cousins Drew and Mike and Terry were there along with some spouses. Their brother Brian was not there. He was taken from this world way to early many years ago. He is now again with his mom and dad. Many of my cousin's kids were there, with their kids.. Watching the grandkids running around, I couldn't help but think to myself, "how did so much time pass so fast?"
It's easy to look back and say things should have been handled differently. I should have kept in touch. I guess life just got in the way.
I'm happy they are all doing so well. From the moment I arrived at the party until the moment I left, I had a smile on my face. Good people have that affect on me.
We have plans to get together again in the coming months. Let's hope life doesn't get in the way again.