I have no idea where this picture was taken, but I think it was around 1961. I’m the youngest one in the photo. The little boy is my brother, David. The other four are my cousins, all siblings.
I’m thankful for my cousins. I have so many wonderful childhood memories with all of them. The four in this picture are all older than me, so they probably have a different viewpoint than I do. This is how I remember….
Johnny, the tall boy in the back, was the oldest child in his family. All I remember from visits to their house as a kid is that he was there. Then I remember he went to fight in Vietnam. I didn’t understand much at all of what was going on at that time, but I do remember being very glad he returned home safely. He’s now married, living in Texas, with two daughters and bunch of grandchildren. I know him a little better now. What I appreciate about him the most is that he wrote letters to our grandmother over the years. He is a kind man.
Linda is the one with the long dark hair. She and the next in line, Susan, used to make paper dolls for me, complete with several outfits. What I remember most about her is the summer she stayed with us in Ft. Lauderdale. She was supposed to be helping my mom, who was expecting my younger brother. Mom says that’s not what happened, the helping part, I mean. My most vivid memory of that time is when she came home extremely sunburned from a day at the beach. That Georgia girl did not listen to the admonitions to protect her skin. A week or so later my older brother and I would sit and peel layers of flaky skin off her back. It was fascinating at the time – I was 5 ½.
Then there is Susan – the one with her arms around me. We share the same middle name – after our great aunt Marie who didn’t have children of her own. Susan played the flute and had long straight hair in high school. I loved her hair and used to spend time watching her fix it just right. I was also fascinated with her eyelash curler.
The youngest in this group of siblings is Patricia. She spent one summer with us when I was an impressionable young teen. She answered lots of girl-stuff questions that I was embarrassed to ask my mom. She married her high school sweetheart and they are still together.
Cousins are wonderful people. Even though we lived miles apart, my cousins were all a big part of my growing up. I am grateful for the richness they added to my life.