The End of An Era

Monday, June 04, 2007 13 Comments A+ a-

Mom and I were riding together in the car last week when I turned to her and thanked her. “Why?” she asked. “Because you instilled such a great sense of family in us,” I answered. She smiled and repeated the adage I’ve heard my whole life, “Friends will come and go, but family is forever.”

For as long as I can remember, it was the six of us; my three sisters, my aunt’s two sons, and I. We were the six that made up the total number of grandchildren on that side for a long time and were raised more like brothers and sisters than cousins. I don’t have any memories of family get-togethers that don’t include Daniel and Ryan, and the mishaps we got into.

There are memories of having secret “Cousins Only” club meetings in the crawl space of my parents house; jumping off our play gyms onto the trampolines; taking blankets and chairs and creating elaborate forts; spending summer days on slip ‘n slides or sprinklers. I remember Christmas days spent at our great-grandmother’s house, each taking turns trying to sneak down the stairs to see the mountain of gifts lying under the tree. Or those same Christmas days playing with our new toys and just being together. There are memories resulting in trips to the doctor’s office or having to get stitches; one such event even led to Courtney needing surgery to realign her finger after she tried catching a ball from Ryan. Chicken pox was shared among the six of us, not to mention the common colds and flues. As you can see, my childhood is infinitely intertwined with Daniel and Ryan.

A week ago, we celebrated Ryan’s graduation from high school. As I realized that an era had come to an end, I got teary. It was hard when Courtney and Daniel graduated from high school (the same year and the same school), but this was harder. Because it means that we’ve really grown up, all six of us. Our childhood, the silliness and fun of it, has officially come to an end. Ryan has his choice from a few schools that are offering him scholarships for his record-breaking pole vault jumps, but I’m secretly hoping he’ll end up at the local college here, just like Courtney and Daniel did. I’m not completely ready to let him go yet; his tender heart and fun-loving ways would be greatly missed.

I don’t know if Ryan and Daniel will ever know how much they mean to me. They are the brothers I never had; the guys that I look for at every family gathering. But I know that no matter where we all end up in this world; whenever we’re brought back together, smiles and laughter will unfold as we reminisce about the good ‘ol days.

I’m a coffee drinking, book reading, laundry procrastinating, husband and children loving, mess of a woman who believes that chips and salsa can fix anything. We have chickens running around the backyard, a mountain of dishes in the sink, and on any given morning, I have at least 10 school forms that need my signature or initials. It’s a crazy life {I prefer to call it controlled chaos}, but its ours.

13 comments

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Wendy
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10:19 AM delete

So sweet! That is something to be thankful for.

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Amy
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12:34 PM delete

This is awesome! I hope our children look at their cousins more like siblings, as well. What a great gift! Hope you had a great weekend!love, Amy

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Melanie
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1:42 PM delete

I'm not exactly sure how I ended up here at your blog, but I am enjoying it!
This post reminds me so much of my family. I was always so close to my cousins too. Thanks for the happy memories you brought up for me!

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2:03 PM delete

That was neat, to see some of your older family photos. Looks like you guys had alot of fun together! My kids have several cousins really close to their age, and they have a blast when they get together.I think it will be neat to see them grow up together :)

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4:23 PM delete

That is so cool! I was never close to my cousins, but I so wish that I had been. My sons are close to their cousins and I love that!!

I am about to email you!

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4:32 PM delete

I tried to email you, but it came back to me.

I just wanted to say. . .

That I can't figure out what you think you said that might have hurt my feelings???? I even reread the comment you were talking about!

Please please don't think twice about it! You are sweet to the core!

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Elise
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8:45 PM delete

What wonderful memories - I feel a twinge of sadness just reading this.

But there are so many more wonderful memories to be made, so smile! ;) (((Jenn)))

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Overwhelmed!
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11:14 PM delete

Beautiful post! I have some cousins that are more like brothers to me too. It's wonderful, ,isn't it? And even though you're all growing older, that doesn't mean you have to grow apart.

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Overwhelmed!
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11:14 PM delete This comment has been removed by the author.
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Christine
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1:32 AM delete

I love, love, love the pictures in these last few posts. The concert sounds like it was wonderful, your wedding pictures are gorgeous, and it is so special that you share that connection with your cousins. Thanks for sharing some of your life!!

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Rachel
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7:47 AM delete

That sounds really, really lovely!

~~Rachel
www.nothinggold.net

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Alycia
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7:00 AM delete

Such wonderful memories for you all! The next stage of life will bring each of you into a new journey together ~ with your own children and spouses, who I hope will be as close as you all were. Blessings!

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AndiMae
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9:02 AM delete

This post makes me even more excited about moving closer to our family at the end of the summer and the opportunity our kids will have to become close with their cousins! I hope (like Amy said :) that our kids grow up seeing each other more as siblings than cousins!

P.S. And happy late anniversary!!

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