Monday, August 18, 2014


The other week my daughter and I went grocery shopping together. In the pasta aisle (duh) I met a cousin of mine and we chatted.

"Mommy, who was that Mommy that you were talking to?"

"That's my cousin, sweetie."

"Your cousin? How come she never comes to our house?"

"Oh," I answered, "We're not so close."

That comment was, perhaps, my greatest Motherly Lie.

This past weekend my mother's extended family gathered together for our first family reunion, commemorating sixteen years since my maternal grandmother's passing. I don't know how to describe the joy, the laughter, the love; it was family. We shared some tears, some sniffles, some deep thoughts; but mostly we celebrated.

We celebrated the legacy my grandmother left behind. We celebrated her life, her lessons, her focus. We celebrated the beauty of our too-many-too-count growing families.

I was young when my grandmother passed and I don't have many tangible memories of her. (Although, as my relatives stood up and shared their memories of her, I could have sworn they were talking about my own mother.) I didn't share my strongest memory of her because it occurred when I came marching through her house in a pre-teen (is that tweenage?) huff, slammed the bathroom door behind me so I could wail in "privacy", and promptly dislocated a tile from her bathroom ceiling. My grandmother wasn't one to promote bouts of pointless tears, especially at the cost of her ceiling. I don't remember my grandmother reprimanding, me, however; perhaps that speaks louder than anything else.

(My mother did reprimand me.)

(And I deserved it.)

This weekend I learned about simplicity, love, generosity, encouragement, belief, and happiness. I learned about struggles, triumphs, obstacles, and success. I learned about my grandmother, my mother, myself, and my family. I close my eyes now and will these moments to stay with me forever.

So, my dear daughter, I was wrong. My cousin and I; we are very close. We share an unbreakable bond that was melded years ago and will last for eternity.

Why doesn't she come over? That might have more to do with the hundreds of cousins thing. But I'm going to make a greater effort now to help you feel how close we all are.