With a quarter of the month of August spent, I evaluate the summer’s activities. When we were children, seeing aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins was routine, year long. There were more children per family then and that meant more First Holy Communions, Weddings and other celebrations. They did not seem special, we just expected to see each other often and did. Now, families are so scattered it is a special occasion that pulls groups of us together and we laugh, talk, eat, reminisce with great relish the joys and sorrows of the lives we remember. There were some cousins I missed on their brief time in Ohio, but I do hope we’ll all converge another time.
There is a contentment I enjoy, reflecting on the travels I participated in this year and the visits from or with out of town cousins. My cousin Theresa found three days into which she crowded as many family members as could fit last week when she was hosted by her brother for a few days, hurrying back to Texas to be there when her younger daughter returned from a few days in California with childhood friends.
The eldest grandchild of my only elder cousin graduated from a Jesuit high school and later this month, her proud parents will drive her to college for the beginning of the next phase of her education. The circle of that segment of the family was smaller this year since Aunt Elizabeth has passed and others could not make the trip to attend. We all fit at one round table and enjoyed a sumptuous meal while the yard was filled with many people we are not directly related to, or friends and co-workers of the family, and Julia’s classmates. We took pictures and quietly caught up but the conversation is never as bawdy or loud as it always is on my father’s side my family. Perhaps it is a nice balance for me and as we slowly stood to take our leave, thanking our host and hostess, getting side-tracked into other conversations, daylight began to fade, waving off the cousins who asked if I wanted a ride to my car, I climbed up the street and got into my little car and drove home.