Family - there's just something about that blood connection.
There are 18 of us cousins on my dad's side of the family. When we were little we were close, but now as adults we rarely see each other.
Jerry - He starts the list of cousins. Jerry is now 50 and not it great health. He is the oldest cousin and was born on July 11
Cathy - She is Jerry, Laurie, and Jimmy's sister - I haven't seen her in years.
Larry - He lives close to my parents. Larry used to help Daddy farm and spent a lot of time with us when I was in high school.
Laurie - She has done a lot in her life. She was a nun for a while and now is a teacher at a Catholic high school. Laurie is a great mom to her two boys one of which has severe disabilities.
Cheri - She married Mike who is a big-time farmer a few hours a way. Cheri home schools her 6 kids who are all successful in all they do. No - I am serious, they really are.
Lisa - She is a chemist at Eli Lilly's and a single mom to Jonathon whom she adopted from Russia. Lisa has recently taken a leave from work to home school Jonathon and spend more time with her mom, Aunt Ann, who has Alzheimer's and is in a nursing home.
Diane - My sister.
Jimmy - He is a 3rd generation farmer. Daddy helps him farm now that he is retired.
Steve - He is my most notorious cousin. Steve has grown up a lot and now has a great wife and three kids. His son Dallas is just like him, and we are all enjoying that! Steve drives a school bus where he's known as Porter; however, it's still hard for me not to call him Stevie.
Tracy - She is 6 months younger than me but is a grandma - not necessarily by her choosing. She is sweet and hard working. I am glad to see her in a great relationship now.
Billy - I haven't seen Billy in years. His is the son of Aunt Mary whom no one has seen in years although she lives just a short drive away. I heard Billy got married not too long ago. He dated a girl for years and years and she died of cancer; it took him a long time to get over that.
David (Shannon) - He is a fireman and doesn't live that far away. He has a beautiful wife and two kids.
Missy - She is the daughter of Aunt Jeannie who died at 33 from breast cancer when Missy was just 10. Missy married Jerome who is a mortician/funeral director and semi-pro wrestler! She has one son and still lives in her hometown.
Toby - He is Tracy's brother. Toby has a wife named Charity and two kids. He served in the military for a while. I haven't seen him for 4-5 years now.
Chris - He is the other son of Aunt Mary. I can't even remember the last time I saw Chris. I am sure he wouldn't recognize me at all, in fact, I don't know if he ever even knew who I was. I heard he looks just like his dad. I think he is a teacher and tennis coach.
Doug - He is Missy's brother. Doug races motorcycles and has a pretty wife and two adorable boys. I am pretty certain that he is in business with his dad.
Danny - My brother. Youngest cousin and was born on July 11 just like the oldest cousin.
My parents host a family reunion every August, but unfortunately, not every one comes. It has been years since we have all been together collectively as a family.
But despite not seeing each other often, when we do we are definitely still family.
This is a picture of Joel and my cousin Tracy's daughter, Ciara. They are both freshman in high school. TCM played Ciara's school on Friday night. Joel played and Ciara cheered. Although they don't even know each other, I think you can tell they are family.