I've always been very proud of my family. There's of course the family I have with my husband and our three children, but I'm also thinking of the family I grew up with and the family I married into. Then there is the family my Dad grew up with and the family my Mom grew up with. All in all, let me just say, I am extremely proud of the various branches of my family tree.
Her older sister Denise would hang out with my older brothers mostly, so I did not really get to know her until we grew older. But back in 1996 my family hosted a huge family reunion and I got the chance to meet her daughter and got to know Denise better. The next year we drove to Pennsylvania to visit Denise and we took our children to the Philadelphia Zoo. The next day we took her daughter with us to Sesame Street Place. It was a fun trip.
Spending time with these two cousins of mine, two women who have always been in my life and their most likeable children, who are as open, loving, fun, and as full of sweet smiles as their mothers, is always special and fun for me and my family. Our children all genuinely enjoy one another. We all love one another. That is obvious.
My mother and their father are brother and sister, the only two children of our mutual Nana and Pepere. At one point tonight, Denise and I stepped outside together to tend to my puppy. We started talking about our aging parents and it was incredibly comforting to both of us to know we are both going through this phase of life together. With Cathy, Denise, and I, there is a connection between us that is strong through blood, but there's also a simple appreciation and respect for one another that comes naturally. Those are the best cousin relationships, the best bonds within a family. However infrequently we get together, those are the branches in a family tree that make me most proud.