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Cousins

September 24, 2023


My father is the oldest of 12 children, and my mother the oldest of 5. I have 72 first cousins. My father's father was one of 11 children, his mother one of 6. My mother's father was one of 10, and her mother of 8. I have no idea how many second cousins this gives me, but there are many. Because my parents' names are not common, I am often asked, are you related to _______ Stradling or _______ Naegle? The answer is, "Yes, I'm not sure how, but I am."

We had many opportunities, as cousins, to spend time together. Gatherings at my grandparents' houses were frequent. Some of us live(d) in the same communities. We've attended family reunions. My cousin-related memories are great and many. (Strangely enough, of my 72 cousins, I was the only one my age/grade. This meant I was always trying to hang out with the older cousins, or told to go play with the younger ones.)

I'm blessed to still be making cousin-related memories. In the past two weeks, I have run into many of my cousins. I saw Angie in Wal-Mart, and we walked the aisles pushing our baskets side by side, visiting and shopping. Denise was waiting in line at the pharmacy, and we were able to catch up on our ailments and health. (We're old enough that that is now a regular part of our conversations.) And I was blessed to see Howard, Troy, and Shannen who were driving through town after having a mini family reunion with their mom and siblings. There is a comfort in running into people you know, but I think it is a little deeper when they are cousins with which you have grown.

I don't always attend the many weddings I'm invited to, but I am happy to receive the announcements - they keep me in touch with my cousins. I do try to attend as many family funerals as I can. We share a belief that families are forever, so though funerals are a somber event, they are also a celebration of someone we love and will see again and a chance to see the cousins still living.

I am grateful to be a part of my amazing extended family. I am blessed by my relatives, and I hope to see you soon, but hopefully not at a funeral.

(And because we are all a part of the family of man, I hope to see you too, Cuz.)





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Guest
Oct 01, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

So many cousins and such a beautiful famil!

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Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I love this!! So glad we got to see each other. Love you 😘

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Love you too! It was so good to see you!

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Guest
Sep 24, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Suean you were one of my favorite St Johns childhood memories when I'd come to visit dad (Gene Jr).


I loved spending time aunt Bernice's playing in the irrigation ditch catching water spider and poliwags. If only we had a Fitbit back then, making our through town, I'm sure we walked hundreds of miles.


Helping uncle Roy feed the pigs and him telling us to watch out because they eat our toes. We were always barefooted and would climb the fence wiggling our toes, tempting the pigs, giggling the whole time.


If dad's truck was at Walt's Cafe we could always stop in for a soda.


I love you my dear cousin once or twice removed. If only we could…


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Thank you for these great memories. I too looked forward to spending time with you. And, please don't ever hesitate to comment. I will always be your cousin, I wasn't your English teacher. Love you.

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Guest
Sep 24, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

Beautiful,I love seeing all my cousins as well, miss living in my home town. When I am home I usually do run into or see someone, and brings me joy knowing they are my family.

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Guest
Sep 24, 2023
Rated 5 out of 5 stars.

I remember when both of these pictures were taken. We are part of a great family and a wonderful heritage.

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