Wednesday, May 30, 2012

A Tribute to My Cousin

My cousin died two weeks ago today. I know some people would say big deal, it’s just a cousin or big deal, people die every day, but it is a big deal to me.
My father has a brother and three sisters. My sister and I basically grew up with our cousins from the three sisters like we were siblings, swimming like fish in my grandparents’ pool and climbing trees like monkeys up and down Grape Street. My uncle acted like one of us kids until he left for Florida and never came back (that’s a whole ‘nother story). We are all still close at heart even though we spread out among Arkansas, Texas and Florida back in the 80’s. I’m the oldest of the cousins; my dead cousin was two months younger than me.
I guess my father’s side of the family has been mostly lucky when it comes to death. We really haven’t had to deal with the tragedy of losing our loved ones too soon. My grandparents lived long, full lives; my parents are relatively healthy; my aunts and uncle are still going strong; and the rest of my cousins and their spawn are thriving. There was an incident, almost three years ago now, where one of my younger cousins lost the love of her life to a ranching accident; he was gored in the lung by an exotic deer. This was the husband to the sister of my dead cousin. As I said, we’ve been mostly lucky, but some of us have suffered much, much more than others.
If you ever rented tubes from Rockin’ R on the Comal River, you might have seen my cousin. You really couldn’t miss him. He was a big guy, almost as tall as me (a long-standing joke in the family), and definitely twice as wide; his voice matched his size. While his sense of humor bordered on obnoxious for some of the family, you can be certain a woman like me would think he was funny. He had been many things in his too-short life…a chef who helped start one of the best restaurants in New Braunfels, a real estate agent who drooled over riverfront property, and a teacher whose next big thing was being a principal. He got to dance with his beautiful daughter while celebrating his sister's second chance at love only two short months ago. He didn’t get to do enough.

Although it was his heart that was the most broken, the hearts of his entire family will forever be changed. I love and miss you, Chris.

1 comment:

  1. i am INCREDIBLY close to my cousins - i can't imagine what i'd do if they passed away. so incredibly sorry for your loss :(