When I think about my growing up years, I can always remember the fun it was to have all my cousins to visit and stay the night at my house or me at theirs. With our parents being siblings, I think they would understand when we would get into the same kind of mischief that use to at our age. When cousins are together even if you have been apart for months , you still act more like siblings.  You become best friends, and always trying to think of something new to try.

Family reunions were so much fun, because there were so many people, and so much excitement and very emotional (mostly from the adult’s) which always gave us a good laugh.

 The one big thing being a child with lot’s of cousins it that it didn’t matter who the parent was that was correcting you…(we all thought they were a little crazy anyway). Your natural parents would just say, it you would behave, your auntie wouldn’t  have to pull your hair when she is trying to brush it for you. Or even worse you Aunt decides to give all her nieces a kinky perm. Then you all look like overgrown Shirley Temple doll’s.

 Cousins are rare friends, from playing cowboy’s and Indian’s to cutting out paper doll and dreaming of the way you want your own home to be, even to the point to making the boy’s play house, and hold your doll’s without tearing off their heads. Cousins will always remain friends through out their life time. Even if they are miles apart. The blood ties are deep and cousins will always have a sense of loyalty for their family.

Growing up in a fairly large family, meant everyone gathering at a Grandparent house, whether it was you Dad or Mom’s parents. This was always exciting because the food was the best, Grandma’s cooking and with all the Aunts bringing their special dish. The meals were fit for a king. And if getting there the night before, you had better not even think of getting into that pie or cake for the Sunday Dinner.

Grandparents is the one thing we had most in common, each of us was very special and could do no wrong in their eyes. We also shared the loneliness of losing our grandparents. We each have memories that bound us together with our grandparents. And of course each of us thought we were the favorite grandchild.

When we were young we wanted to spend as much time together as we could. As babies the older cousins would carry us around, every new baby was a gift to us all. In my case all of us were only 1-8 years apart, so we were baby’s holding babies. So even the youngest fit right in and all was good with that. There was always the tricks that we played on each other, cousins of the same age seem to like to aggravate either the older one or the younger ones and somebody else was always to blame for any incidence that wasn’t excepted by out parents.

Then the teen years come, boyfriends, girlfriends, memories made, each cousin starting to make his or her own way in this world. Marriage, children, careers , moving across country. Now sometimes you only see each other every few years. But you always pick up just where you left off as if nothing has changed.

Now our Parents, Aunts ,Uncle’s and some siblings are old, some have left this world, and cousins all share in this loss at the same time.

Now as we enter our golden years, and we have to experience the loss of family…and of each other, our memories are sweet , we mourn the loss, but we know in our heart that we will reunite with our dear cousins.

Patricia Sumner Duarte










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