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On Sunny Lane

It happened again.

Another member of the extended family has passed from this life to the next one.

Even though we had not seen the deceased often in the last few years, he was still fresh in our memories and we wanted to share those memories with people who were closest to him.

You know how it is. When we are children, we play together, go places together, eat together and have fun together. But, gradually, we drift apart. Some of us go to college; some of us join the military; some of us go straight to work after high school; and some of us get married.

The concerns of adult life keep us busy and our time with cousins dwindles. We gradually drift apart. The only things that keep us in touch are family reunions, weddings and, every now and then, a funeral. 

We keep promising to visit or go someplace together, but it doesn’t always happen,as some people move away from their childhood homes.

Consequently, when Sweetheart and I went to the funeral home last week, we had to look twice before we recognized some people. We needed to be introduced to some of the newer members of the family.

And then, there are some people who look very familiar—and you feel guilty for not knowing who they are. And you feel embarrassed to ask the person. And you are embarrassed to ask somebody who would actually know.

As a result, Sweetheart and I spent 10 minutes in a lively conversation with someone who we didn’t remember, in hopes that something she would say would be a clue as to who she was. It worked. However, we still didn’t know her name.

That part of the family does get together once a year, though, and Sweetheart and I plan to go to that picnic this year.

Of course, we have friends. We have children and siblings. But, there’s something about those cousins and aunts and uncles that helped us connect to the larger world when we were still wet behind the ears. It was shared experiences that helped us to launch our journey onto our own path.

Those shared experiences helped to shape us into the people we are today. Even the bad memories are good.

Sweetheart and I may maintain contact with our remaining cousins and we may not. We can’t deny, however, that they helped us to put down roots. Without roots, how does a person grow?


Dorothy is the author of two books—“Miles and Miracles” and “Getting It All Together “. You can purchase a book or make a comment by emailing her at

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