As I mentioned in my first blog ever, my dad is the oldest of eleven. Which means I have a ton of aunts, uncles, and cousins. I am not the oldest of the cousins. Some of the older ones live on the east coast and aren't really in touch with the family. I would guess if you ask some of the kids in our family, they think I am the oldest. Being an only child, I have felt like my cousins were my siblings. Being the oldest I feel it is my job to be like an older sibling to them. When I was younger it might have been bossing them around or babysitting them. Now as some of them are getting older, one even got married a couple months before me!, I plan to go out to bars with some of them, when they are old enough, and most importantly, keep this crazy family of ours together.
Our family is built like the Brady Bunch, but that is about as far as the similarities go. We have got problems! But we have also got some much LOVE! I know I can call anyone in my family at any time if I needed them. Even though I live several hours away from them facebook is helping to keep some of us a little more connected.
There are several reasons I feel like I have been slacking on being the big cousin. I was busy with my own life. College, getting married. I live so far away. Recently I have been blessed to spend a little time with some of them at the weddings this summer. Can you believe I met my two year old cousin who lives in Texas for the first time this summer?! When we were going to be in the same general area I made it my number one priority to see my aunt and her kids because I thought it was so wrong! that I hadn't even met my cousins!
I have found in life, when you get too wrapped up in your own stuff and you put things that are important on the back burner that sometimes it whacks you in the face. Well, I got a big whack in the face this weekend. One of my cousins', that has been distanced from the family for a few years, passed away.
I do not know the appropriate emotion to feel. I don't know what I am supposed to do, if anything. My uncle at Pleonastic Rants of CS Daley wrote a blog about how he is feeling. Like the title says, "It doesn't feel right to blog about anything else". It feels like not blogging about it, is ignorning it. I can't ignore that this big crazy family of mine lost a piece. So much of a tradegy is sad. What is sad for me is that little cousin I just met, will never meet him.
You always think you have time to get in touch with people. Well I got a news flash. You don't have time. My focus now, as big cousin, is making sure this family is ok. Trying to check in with everybody. Its hard being so far away at a time like this. I have to do everything I can to get in touch with those family members I barely know. I feel like its my job to keep this next generation in this family together.