When you hear someone has died, you automatically start remembering them. Some of the memories are good, some are not. Either way, you remember the time you spent with the person and in its own way that memory is paying respect to their life.

In recent months I have had several deaths in the family. All of which have left me with interesting thoughts. One side of my family is cursed. There is no other explanation. The deceased are young. They are close to 50, all of them. I know 50 is not really young, but it certainly is not old either. My mother was 49, that was years ago. Her brother several years later, died at 53. Most recently, her brother’s son at 50 years old. His was not a natural death, but it is possibly from THE CURSE.

My memories of my cousin were mostly from when I was young. All the little pranks he and his brother would pull together.  I never really thought they were friendly to my brother and me. Little did I know that was how they were friendly.

The prank that stands out in my mind the most was the disappearing leg. I was extremely young and I believed each cousin had lost their leg. They would take turns sitting behind and under this huge chair. The first time they did it I went running for help. My cousin had to stop me because they didn’t want to get in trouble for scaring me.

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Remembering my cousin, I also remember feeling bad for him because he went away to college. I wrote letters to him so he wouldn’t miss the family. He was so far away and I couldn’t imagine being so far away from family. He was 20 and I was 12 at the time.

Then the memory that makes me laugh, was when I was 16 or 17. He had this awesome hot rod. I loved going fast. I asked him to take me for a ride in it. His dad said no nitrous, which made me say please. We started out and he looked at me and said you better not tell our dads. On went the nitrous and away we went. We started back and he asked if he scared me. I laughed and said the faster the better. I think he was disappointed that he didn’t scare me.

Now this week I am sitting  here wishing I could be with my cousin who lost her dad. She and I grew up together and this is her first close family death. I wanted to be there to support her the way she was there for me after my mom passed.

Her dad was a little different. I liked him. She was his “little girl” and did no wrong. I often wondered if he admitted to himself that she might have gotten in a little trouble. He almost kicked me out of their house one night. His daughter and I were going to have a sleepover. She got herself into a predicament that I didn’t want to share. When we got to her house he blamed me for what she did and said I should have stopped her. Honestly, I didn’t know she did it until it was too late.

After that, his daughter and I were still close but his and my relationship was a little strained. That was fine though because by that time I was old enough to stay by myself.

My favorite memory of him was of him and my father. The two of them decided they were still kids. They decided to race each other to the end of a road and back. No one went to witness the whole race. They both came back at the same time, out of breath, and sweating. They didn’t actually go all the way, but neither would admit to how far or who won.

So I am sifting through memories and wondering what will be…

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