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Monday, July 13, 2009

family

Sometimes I look around at my surroundings and have to wonder how it was that I actually got here.


Like now, for instance.

I am surrounded by bright yellow walls with a large blue foaming wave on the one to my left. The blankets are pulled tightly around me, covering me in anything and everything Hawaiian that can be printed on fabric. A large ceiling fan looms overhead, its blades fashioned to look like giant palm fronds.

See, I am in my first cousin once removed's bedroom.

She is the daughter of my first cousin, whom I have not seen for 13 years. And before that, had only seen her once in a very great while.

When asked by my friend what I was doing with my Monday, I told her about spending the day with my long-lost cousin that I never really knew in the first place and she simply said, Sometimes tour is just cool.

And I have to agree.

Tracy and I, along with her husband and two daughters, talked for hours and hours. We talked about our Mimi, the grandmother that we shared and to whom she was closer, since she is only 8 years younger than my own mom and so got to spend a lot more time with her. We talked about our Grandpa, and what I think is so very strange is that she refers to him as Pop-pop while me and my siblings refer to him as Grandpa. Why did he have a different name for different grandchildren? It was even a little confusing, what with me saying Grandpa and my cousin saying Pop-pop and both of us talking about the same revered man.

She told me that she was his favorite granddaughter.

And I didn't fight her on that one, considering he never even met me.

We poured over pictures; she is a scrapbooking wizard.

I opened up my laptop and pulled up facebook, the only thing I have that comes anywhere near a scrapbook of family photos.

Upon seeing the latest photos of my mom, she exclaimed that Terri hasn't changed a bit. And when I saw more pictures of my Grandpa I couldn't believe how much my mom looks like him, the grandfather I never met.

She shared lots of memories with me--mostly of my mom, which was just a joy to hear. And I am left to marvel again at this thing that causes a near stranger to invite another near stranger into their beautiful home on a random Monday; to feed them fine food and wine and keep talking over empty plates for hours; to house them in Hawaiian themed rooms and allow them to pet their beagle Shelly with her titanium knees.

I am left to marvel at this thing called family.

5 comments:

Mandy and Jack said...

Not a bad design, huh?

Jessica Latshaw said...

not bad at all!

And nice to know that I am not the only night Owl in TX right now;-)

sherri said...

I love this post- it is so true. Those finally ties are so strong!

peaj said...

Very sweet, especially since touring means that you have to leave family; it is sweet that you get to expand family too, and even learn more about your mom in the process.

kathiek said...

What a lovely way to spend your day off...getting to meet more family while you are away from yours! How wonderful that you were able to do that, Jess!