Friday, January 10, 2014


Yesterday was so right in every respect. The service, termed a Thanksgiving Service for the life of Uncle Roy, was ineffably tender and true. Seldom have I been to a service where a person's passions, humor, struggles and bedrock goodness were so fully portrayed. His children wrote the most honest yet loving remembrance of a life that I have ever heard. The two middle children, Paul and Anne, read it together, taking turns. It went on for a long time and I hung on every word, everyone in the church was so moved. Afterwards their brother David said, "Thank God for the humor sprinkled throughout, or I would have been destroyed."

Sometimes you just need to put yourself out there to remember what love and connections are there for you. Sustained. My cousins hold as much affection for me and our shared memories as I have for them. This side of the family, my father's side, is marked by constancy and a gentle spirit of acceptance, combined with a lightening quick sense of humor, side-splitting but somehow never mean. At the repast, there were deep rocking laughs as the older cousins regaled the younger ones with stories of the mischief we got up to as children. They laughed along with us, indulging us. There is a whole generation of offspring my children's age that I was meeting for the first time. I felt an ache as I sat in the pew behind Uncle Roy's nine grandchildren, all such physically beautiful young people clearly devoted to family. I wished my own children could have lived nearer to them, and been a part of the closely connected crew. I was sorry I had missed their entire growing up, that I had stayed away so long. But as we introduced the cousins from abroad to the cousins from home, it was clear to us that they embraced one another at once. Oh, we laughed and laughed.

Later that night, as we climbed the stairs of my brother's house after the day-long celebration of my uncle's life, my daughter said, "How did I get so lucky as to be born into this family?" I felt it too.


  1. Cousins are the best. Sometimes better than siblings ;-)

  2. Spectacular. I love every piece of this. In fact, I am in love with all of the Jamaica posts. Thanks for bringing us along.

  3. So much beauty. You know, I have many first cousins, Angella -- and we live far out and spread all over. When we have the opportunity to be together (sadly, at funerals and in the early days, weddings), it's a beautiful thing. I imagine your own children's connections to their family will remain long after you are gone.