What else can I title this today?

I have sat all day thinking about family. I lost a cousin today and after yet another family member gone, I went into my head as I usually do at times like this.

I thought of posting just some old family pictures for ‘Throwback Thursday’ on Facebook.  Looking through old ones, I found this one


I love this one…notice the cutout circle?  This is my dad.  I cut it out and put it in a locket and wore it for a long time.  I had few pictures of him and wanted him close. On his lap is my older sister. On the couch holding various cousins are my aunt, my grandma and my uncle. On the floor, a couple more cousins, including Sharon, the one we lost today.

This picture is Family. But it is of family that I barely knew.  It had to be taken before 1962 as that was the year we lost my dad. After my mom remarried we were never really ‘allowed’ to see that side of the family much at all!  I will never understand that. Here are people who were my blood, my relatives, my connection to my dad and I didn’t get to know most of them very much. I do remember getting to go out to my aunt’s farm a few times. Then that stopped.

When I got older I needed that connection again. I wanted to look into the eyes of those that came from the same people as I did.  I made that connection again, the best I could. I loved visiting my aunt again.  I remember her voice, how she looked, her house and everything to this day.  Sadly we lost her way too soon, also. I remember my uncle, and how we sat at my aunt’s house after my cousin’s wedding, listening to his stories of the family. I wish I had recorded those! He had such a deep voice, I wondered if my dad talked that way, too. So many in this family were lost far too soon. I still needed that connection.

I visited with Sharon through the years. Not enough. I should have went over more often. I always loved sitting at her table, drinking iced tea-she always had some made!  I loved seeing the pictures of the family and hearing the stories she remembered about my dad, like he made the best macaroni and cheese ever had and she told me that he hated leaving his kids behind with a babysitter. She always made me feel welcome-a part of the family! MY family! I remember when she came to my mom’s funeral, she brought me a picture she had found of my dad. A black and white 8 x 10 graduation picture in a frame.  It has some water damage, but I don’t care. It meant a lot that she thought enough of me to give it to me. She knew how important family was and is to me. It is all we ever talked about! Sometimes, I remember, it was hard, being sad, with so many already gone.

The last few years I haven’t really gotten over to see her.  I have thought of her often, thinking I need to go visit. It is now too late. I feel regret and guilt. We preach so often about life is too short. It is. Especially now, getting older, as I lose more and more loved ones, I feel that.  I don’t want to have any more regrets.  I don’t want any more ‘I should haves’.

I want to know, is there someone you are thinking of? Someone you haven’t seen in awhile?  A family member that you may have lost touch with? What is holding you back from saying hello, from visiting them? Why not do it now before it is too late. I don’t want to live with any more regrets. There is no greater connection that you can have with someone like the one that is Family.