Friday, March 23, 2018

Being part of something bigger

It was my cousin's funeral today. Jimmy was nearly eighty-one when he died and, though he lived in Taunton, he was a Mumbles boy at heart and wanted to have his funeral and be buried here.

Jimmy was actually my second cousin; he and my mum were first cousins but, as I've probably explained before, the age gap between my grandmother and her youngest sibling was so large that the generations get mixed up a lot.

My great-grandmother, she with the eight surviving children, lived with us when I was little. Or maybe I should say we lived with her as it was her home originally. So family gatherings happened in our home at regular intervals. 

I suppose as a shy child I wasn't very impressed with this - mainly because I'd be sent around to kiss everyone - who had usually had a drink or two - goodnight but then, after my great-gran died, and the frequency of these gatherings slowed and finally stopped altogether, I realised how important they'd been.

Over the years I've almost lost touch with many of my cousins but Facebook has been a wonderful bringer-togetherer and we've been able to share news and commiserate or celebrate with each other, albeit virtually.

So today it was great to see, even under the sad circumstances, cousins gathering together to remember a lovely man. There seems to be a new family spirit. What was on the point of being lost is being restored. Maybe as we get older we recall the 'good old days' or maybe, as the number of the older generation gets fewer, we just need to feel part of something bigger.

So today I'm thankful for extended families.


Ole Phat Stu said...

I have always been confused by the way Brits name relationships in a family tree,
because there are multiple positions in the tree (see diagram at link) with the same name but different paths to get there.

Other languages / cultures provide unique names for different tree positions.

What does Welsh do?

Liz Hinds said...

Goodness knows. Everybody's called auntie whatever the relationship.

Ole Phat Stu said...

That must annoy the non-gay uncles ;-)

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I never understood why we had to go round and kiss everyone. .bizarre ..mine just had to hug and now grandchildren do the same . Well I have never lived as close as you to family and have cousins all around the world and we are now spreading further .FB has found me a first cousin and we get on amazingly ..only met once in our whole lives about two years ago and she lives in Sout Africa .. fb has reconnected me with my Maltese cousin who lives in Italy and connect me with 2nd cousins in Malta .. but it has also allowed me choose who I want to connect with I talk to the ones I want to talk too .. cousin or not . Might as well be strangers at a bus stop. My mum is always going on about " but they are your cousins" ..really I say .. some I contact and some I don't .,and the ones I am more in contact with are from my dad's side ..the maltese side . YEAH my mum said that too .. Aunie so an so but not really my auntie ..could be a find of a cousin etc .. never understood this .😍😍