oldsunbird

"I have been more outrageous and more alone and more courageous than the world has known. Passerby, my heart is like your own."

Bad News

I had a cousin just a few months younger than me.  Her name was Terry.  We met 27 years ago when we both were 58.   It’s a long story, but briefly, she lived in Kansas and had been looking for her mother  for years; finally found us in Missouri, but her mother had passed away.  I was thrilled to have her in my life.

She and her husband visited us a couple of times, and my husband and I drove to Kansas to see her.  We talked on the phone and exchanged letters.

She was such a gift; we both lamented the fact that we lived so far from each other.  I felt we had been cheated (she much more than I)  for not knowing each other when we were younger.  My dad’s family all lived close, within walking distance of one another.  If we had known each other then, we would have been playmates, probably best friends.   And then, after finally  meeting, we still couldn’t see each other that often because of the distance, and, later, due to the fact that we both had physical problems that made traveling difficult.

Our contact has been less frequent the past few years, and I’ve been the one to call.  Terry had been quite ill and on medication that left her drowsy, with slurred speech; I did most of the talking.  Not a very rewarding exchange.

I was thinking about her today and realized it had been quite awhile since we talked.  I decided to call her and was looking forward to hearing her voice.   Her husband answered, told me she died last April.    And now I regret that I didn’t call her sooner.

I’ve had that experience before.  I called my best friend after my husband died and learned she had died months before.  You’d think I would have learned by now to live as if today is the only day.  To not let time grow between us.

But time seems to go so fast.  And I think….tomorrow.  Then tomorrow comes, and I let it slide by too  And before I know it, weeks, months have passed.  Nothing in life is so certain that we can take anything for granted.

I’m glad, and grateful, that my cousin and I were able to enjoy each other, if only briefly.   If she hadn’t found us, I would never have known I had a cousin in Kansas.  She enriched my life and she’s a part of me now.

I love you Terry.  Thank you for the gift of you.

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4 thoughts on “Bad News

  1. So sorry Mary…not only did you lose a precious person you longed to be close to, but the world just keeps shrinking as those we love leave us behind. But take heart…you will see her and all of those you love again…an eternity on earth, but only a blink of the eye in heaven. (((HUG)))

  2. lucewriter on said:

    I’m so very sorry about the loss of your cousin. What a sad and haunting story it is. It’s also inspirational because by writing it you have encouraged me to not take people for granted. Your writing has enriched my life. xo Luanne

  3. I am sorry to hear about your loss. It can be so hard to lose folks and I completely get it when you think, “Oh, I’ll just call tomorrow.” Then it doesn’t come. My thoughts are with you.

  4. I’m sorry for your loss, Mary. It is good to think back and remember the good times with her. You were both so fortunate to have each other. Don’t let there be any regrets that you didn’t call at just the right time … you did call, and your heart was in the right place. I hope you and Jenny Penny are doing well today.

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