The day is foggy. It is tough to see across the pond to the woods. So odd, it is, for a day so late in January. I do hope my Malloff cousins will get home safely as they navigate this pea soup of a day!
“You weren’t supposed to fuss,” said cousin Ron. “If you fuss, we won’t come again,” he threatened.
“I did fuss,” I said. “And I WILL fuss again because I want to fuss. And that is my choice. It makes me happy. It is my gift to you. And you WILL come again, so don’t tell me what to do!”
And so it began – the teasing, the chiding, the laughing, the remembering… What a blast it has been this weekend with them here. It seems like forever since I’ve seen them. Ron, Mike, Stephanie, and little Abrianna. Of course, I’ve known the older two my whole life and watched as these brothers became parents, then grandparents. I know all about that – I expect this to happen. What I didn’t expect was for Ron’s daughter, Stephanie, to become so interested in our family, our heritage, our history.
“So, who are my cousins, Stacey?”
And with a little note pad and pen, I scribbled the names of the cousins, the cousins spouses, and children.
“You keep in touch with all of them?”
“Yup. And I am proud of it! It is so important to me.”
Stephanie was learning. She was learning about the family. She was learning about our history. She was not the only one. I had had this similar conversation with Pam’s daughters Anna and Alex. Pam, our historian, knew much more of the history of our family, of course. I forget all that. But me? I know who we are now. And I am driven to unite the next generation.
The strangest feeling of all was that it was clear that Stephanie is younger. How could she not know that her Dad used to play hockey with me and that her aunt used to read me stories? I mean, don’t we all know that? Egad. I have become one of the ones from the past – I am now a more historical figure! My Dad used to say that it was so easy to know things from history because he lived it. I didn’t get it – I wasn’t historical. I am now. Egad again. I am a part of our history.
How does that feel? I think I have mixed emotions about it. I am happy to know the facts and to be able to be a resource. I am NOT happy that I am NO longer the youngest, well, at least of the primary cousins. Not by a long shot.
“So – you need to take over, Stephanie, when I’m gone,” I advised her. “Someone has to take over my mission to keep us all together. I think it is you. ”
“I’m on it, Stacey,” she replied.
We ate, we danced, we drank (a little), and we laughed. We played cards, we played cribbage, and fibbage, and dice. We stuffed the 24 hours we were together full of laughter, tears, stories, and tales. We simply enjoyed one another. And then – we planned for more since 24 hours is simply not enough to make up for so much lost time. We live far too far apart from each other. Maybe that’s a good thing as I think we could all get into mischief if we were closer! Yes, we made a few long-distance phone calls to wish long-distance cousins a happy birthday and sing to them – even though it may not have been their birthday. We wanted the others to be with us – so – why not leave a happy birthday song? grin.
I love my clan.
I feel I belong. I am connected. We are all connected.
The day may be foggy, but my heart rings loud and clear. My spirits soar and my load is lifted. I may weigh a few more pounds today – but I am light with laughter and joy.
Thanks for the visit, crew! And thanks for the memories!