So the thoughts go, ah, another cousin has died. He was seventy-three. Positive for COVID-19, kidney failure was his cause of death.
The thoughts continue, when did I see him last? What happened to him in the interim?
The thoughts drift…did he marry and have children? Who are they and where do they live?
The thoughts roll on to other uncles and aunts and their children, and their children’s children.
Two other cousins passed away in 2020. Hadn’t seen one in two decades. Almost six had passed since I’d seen the other. They and I were small children. Also passing was an aunt, not seen since I was two or three.
In a modern age of connection and travel, it’s startling to recognize how many of my family members I know about, and how little I know about them.
Two related stories are there to be told. One is of a cousin fourteen years younger. He was friends with my sister via FB. (My sister has a different father than me and last name and she’s since married a few times.) He reached out to her: “Hey, how come my mom’s maiden name and your brother’s last name are the same?” He was too young to remember me, and didn’t know about our connection.
Another friend request came in last year. Mom’s older brother had a son who know lives north of me by a few hours. Can we be friends? A few years older, he and I have a lot in common. On one FB exchange today, we discovered that we attended the same Joe Cocker concern a few years ago. From our description of where we were sitting, we were within yards of one another.
It’s a large world and a small world, a world tangled with connections and distance. I began trying to untangle some of it today.