Growing up, I was fortunate to be around my cousins. Yes, it was great sharing those wacky years where we made up names for scary monsters and scary things that didn’t exist. It was also great losing our minds and acting all silly. Yes, I am glad to say that Royal Rumble was an expected game regardless of our gender and acting out dares almost always ended up in tears. I went through times when I felt out of place and unwanted and at other times, I felt adored and looked up to. Sitting down with my cousins and talking about the good’ol’days always warms our hearts. These are the cousins from my mother’s side of the family.
Now my cousins from my father’s side are a different story. Back when I was young and arrogant, I didn’t think that these cousins mattered. In fact, I didn’t even know who they were if I were to meet them in the street. I know that there were ties once as I have some vague memories of running around in one of my uncle’s house and a video taping of other cousins playing around in our house. After that, we seemed to have lost touch. Now that I’m older and a bit more humble, I started seeing things different. It all started when my father decided to have a small get together. I was very intrigued because, you know, they’re my family. I looked forward to the event and was shocked to see one of our relatives look very very very similar to my sister. Hmm… I thought to myself, this is probably the “blood” they’re referring to in “blood is thicker than water.” It was one of the greatest days in my life: a resurrection of something I never knew existed and a realization that these cousins, too, are a part of who I am.
What’s ironic, though, is that even though I grew up with cousins from my mother’s side, the similarities between my cousins (dad’s side) and I are more. Have I drifted away from how I was raised or have I come home to who I really am.
Another situation that made me realize that I didn’t need to know my cousins to feel their pain was when one of them lost her spouse. It was tragic and sudden. To see my cousin (who had to be pointed out to me, I dare say) devastated and crying tore me to pieces. I would have given anything to change this unfortunate fate. I held her and cried. Years later I saw her with her sisters. By the end of the visit, I had to ask which one was the cousin who lost her husband. It’s so sad that in all these years I didn’t contact her. But, blood is thicker than water and I pray for her piece of mind.
Regardless of who our family is, family matters. Whether it’s genetics or growing up with your family that ties the bonds, I am proud to say that I am honored to have such great cousins. Cousins that I share stories of a “big green eye walking,” “picking jasmines and meeting the dreaded cat,” “ducky go down the hooooole” and all the jokes from Friends. And cousins that look like me and surprisingly act like me although we’ve been raised differently.
They’re creepy and they’re kooky
Mysterious and spooky
they’re all together ooky
the Addams Family.