Sunday, April 08, 2007

Cousins

Today I watched my kids with their cousins. I watched them all hunt for Easter eggs, with my two sharing a basket. They kept others occupied while we hid, too. I watched (or rather, heard) the oldest and the youngest have a screaming competition, and turn the younger, grouchy screams to laughter. I watched the middle one tenderly care for the puppy. I watched the girls gather together on the couch, eating their candy, and also take up one corner of the table to eat together, my two gathering their girl cousin to them. We talked of how much they enjoy being together, despite the range in age from 19 to almost 2. It's a wonderful, family relationship. May the Circle Be Unbroken.

We were like that growing up. We were a pack with our cousins. There were 7 of us growing up together, and just like Sam, another came along later. By that time, our family had moved from the midwest to the east coast, so we did not watch him grow up. We spent weekends at Grandma and Grandpa's house, eating cinnamon rolls, carving pumpkins, wearing Easter masks or cowboy hats or whatever holiday/prop was on hand, going to dog shows, the circus, helping Grandpa over at the church, or just hanging around. We always wanted to sleep together in G & G's room, with the roll away cot and I guess someone on the floor and a few in their bed (we kicked them out and they slept on the pull out in the tv room). Grandma would tell us stories and rub our backs. When Mark and Christine moved in our neighborhood, literally two blocks away we were estatic! Mark and I were 6 months apart, Rachel and Christine, one year. Now, one of our pack is gone. Daughter, Grandaughter, Sister, Wife, Mother, Cousin, Friend.

My sister and I grieve. We spend a lot of time on the phone wondering when is the right time to make the trip? What do we do for the family? How do we express our sadness? We talk of our father, our uncle, our Grandma, her husband, her children. We just talk. I'm so thankful for that. I will travel with my father this week to Illinois to attend the funeral.

I was gathering songs for my Songs that Speak of the Spirit cd and came upon Paul Simon's "Father and Daughter". I cried. It spoke to me of my Father, but even more, my Uncle, and know the words are true "There could never be a Father that loved his daughter more than I loved you."
If you leap awake
In the mirror of a bad dream
And for a fraction of a second
You can't remember where you are
Just open your window
And follow your memory upstream
To the meadow in the mountain
Where we counted every falling star
I believe the light that shines on you
Will shine on you forever (forever)
And though I can't guarantee
There's nothing scary hiding under your bed
I'm gonna stand guard like a postcard of a golden retriever
And never leave till I leave you with a sweet dream in your bed

Chorus: I'm gonna watch you shine
Gonna watch you grow
Gonna paint a sign
So you'll always know
As long as one and one is two
There could never be a father who loved his daughter more than I love you

Trust your intuition
It's just like goin fishin'
You cast your line and hope you get a bite
But you don't need to waste your time
Worryin' about the market place
Try to help the human race
Strugglin to survive its harshest night.
-Paul Simon

4 comments:

little sister said...

Please send this on to Uncle Dick and Dad. It illustrates beautifully how we feel about our cousins, how we want our children to relate to their own kin, and how important family is to us despite distance and time.
You've done a wonderful job, big sis.

Rabbit Stitchings said...

(((Hugs))) Though sadness is behind the post, happiness is what made the post .....

weirdbunny said...

Your picture are to be treasured, so much joy in theose kids. Take care ... Love Julia x

Dad said...

Dana, It is Monday April 23 and I just read your postings. I was reminded again of how much I love my daughters and how important you are to me. I told you before, I could not have done all that I needed to do on that last trip to Chicago without you being with me.
Thanks again.

Dad