I was blessed with five first cousins…all on Mother’s side. Marshall was the oldest. He was in Mother and Daddy’s wedding in 1955, so I’m guessing he was born 1950-ish. Then came his brother, David, born…oh, let’s say 1953-ish. Elizabeth was born, I believe, in 1958, then her sister Martha, who I am positive was born in 1960. Then yours truly in 1961. I ruled the world until ’67, when Elizabeth and Martha got a baby brother, Whit. Ned was born in ’68.
I don’t think that it is an exaggeration to say that ours was a close family. Not all huggy kissy lovey dovey, but rarely was there a Sunday afternoon growing up that we weren’t at our Grandmama’s house for two or three hours. In the summers, Elizabeth, Martha, Whit, Ned and I were all together at our houses next to each other on the Edisto River. E, M, and W lived next door to Grandmama after she moved into town when Grandaddy died, but she stayed with us when at the river. She was my bunkmate. I don’t think she had a bathing suit. She was more of a porch sitter people watcher. One of the things I remember most about our Grandmother was that she got down on her knees beside the bed EVERY SINGLE NIGHT before she went to sleep. (Below, Martha, Yours Truly, Elizabeth at Folly Beach around 1964…our Grandaddy took his three daughters and their families every summer.)
Now there are first cousins’ spouses, a total of ten second cousins, and the third cousins are coming along. While none of the first cousins live terribly far apart, life has been busy and I haven’t spent too much quality time with them in recent years. Mother is the only sister of the three still with us. Marshall and Martha have passed away…much MUCH too young.
Funny thing though…since we decided that we are going to move back to the family farm, I’ve begun reconnecting with the cousins. As a matter of fact, Elizabeth, Whit, and I have shared three meals together in the last couple of months. Two of which we shared with all of the others, except Ned. He’s not able to get out much anymore.
I am feeling waves of nostalgia…good waves. I’m sure that life was not perfect back in the day, but I’m pretty sure that we, the cousins, feel like it was pretty darn close. And I have a feeling that there are very good days ahead.