Sunday, November 6, 2011
Brother from anotha' mother
Some extraordinary friends. Don't think of them as friends but as cousins. I have spent more real life time with them than my real blood cousins. Their parents and my parents were good friends and we were always at one or the other of each others houses for a holiday or summer fun. For 50 years I have been looking to my dad's friend and saying "Uncle Ed". It has been amazing to know them. We all grew up together playing in the backyard, in the pool, at the beach and sharing holidays. There were four of them and four of us and we all sort of match in ages also. Like our parents were pregnant sort of within a few months of each other. It is pretty cool.
We were not alone in this pairing either, there is a third family that was part of the gang and was friends with our parents. There are only three kids in their family, but again they were matching within a few months of us. It is sort of eerie but it makes it fun too. The three families have a yearly reunion that is always a blast and the bond is still there.
The families came together in New Jersey and lived in an apartment complex for a few years. Then when the apartments were outgrown we moved on to our own houses and backyards. Backyards with lots of cook outs and kids run hither and yon and babies on blankets gazing up at dad with the camera. I have home movies to prove this, but haven't gotten them on youtube yet.
Somewhere when I hit 4 or so the families moved onward again and further apart. We still were in touch, but not quite like it used to be. Except for Uncle Ed and his family, we saw them at various times of the year. Went to graduations, weddings and funerals thru the years. Some fun stories about things that happened when you had too much to drink at a wedding. Oh boy!
There was a time as we grew older that we got involved in spouses and in laws and such, didn't see them as much. Still there was always a kick ass Halloween party that my one cousin would host and Jim and I tried to make it to that at least every other year or so. Jim and I enjoyed hanging with my cousins and connecting in a different way then I did to my own siblings.
I enjoy the laughter that is found when spending time together. Laughter as we play cards, or pictionary or just sharing a meal. It is a sound that I miss when I am alone in my house and am glad to hear again. There is always the fun of remembering our lives and the events that we shared through the many years. In a big family there is always a variety of things that never seem to be forgotten. These are treasured.
When I lost Jim, then my Dad they opened up even more with invitations to visit and be part of their family holidays or just for a place to get away from the confines of the house and the city. Much as my brother in Ohio has done. It makes me feel good to know that there is a place I can go, even in the darkest of times and find family.
The photo at the top is me, and my older brother (far right) with my cousins. The one below was taken on my cousin's 50th birthday.