A day with cousins includes fun memories


Columns are never easy to write.

Ideas won’t flow.

Frustration usually sets in.

I put my laptop in “sleep” mode, slid into my recliner and leaned back Sunday afternoon.

Jumbled thoughts flowed through my head.

“Will I ever get this done?” I say to myself.

Maybe a nap could solve my issues.

So, I found something monotonous on TV, turned down the volume and closed my eyes.

I could barely hear the voices on TV, yet one – my own – screamed loudly in my head.

“Hey, you’ve got a column to write. Get busy,” it said.


Eyes still closed, I thought about the many things that have affected me over the years. Honestly, I could write a book about either my family, my travels or attending East Carolina as a full-time student and holding down a full-time job.

The realization of how fortunate I am to be back in the saddle again happened Saturday.

I spent the afternoon and evening with two of my cousins. As usual, we laughed and had a good time reminiscing about the by-gone days of summer pig-pickin’s and playing games in our grandmother’s vast backyard.

Life has touched us in different ways.

My two cousins have children. One cousin has two boys and the youngest one has applied to the Coast Guard. The other cousin has a grandchild, who is the apple of her eye and will celebrate his second birthday this Saturday.

Though they didn’t share any pictures, you could see the twinkle in their eye and hear the excitement in their voice as they talked about their grown children. They will always remain babies in their heart.

My thoughts wandered to my parents and brother.

I shared a couple of brief stories about times I truly tested their “faith.” We laughed to the point where we were almost in tears. It felt great to remember the good things about three people who helped shape me into the person I am today.

I miss them every day.

Thankfully I have my cousins to remind me what a good life we’ve lived so far despite the hurdles and adversity we’ve faced. Those obstacles have made us stronger and wiser in different ways.

There’s plenty of life to live.

It’s time to enjoy it.


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