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I am a wife, a daughter, a sister, an aunt, a cousin & a best friend. I am a poet, a lawyer & a survivor. I've learned that God will give you a second chance.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Strawberry Cake

Family dynamics are an interesting thing. In my family the relationship among the cousins is fierce. Growing up it was just the six of us; my father was an only child and my mother has one sister. Between the two of them there are three boys and three girls. We thought of ourselves as one big family with six siblings. Six kids in eight years. We even have a set of twins! (Though their birthdays are ten weeks apart).

We were inseparable. And while we would squabble among ourselves we would fight to the death if anyone tried to tear us apart. In many ways it was “us against the world.” There are many reasons for this family dynamic and I’m sure not many second generation relationships are so close-knit.
I guess we thought we would always be together. But we grew up and life took us away from each other. Five of us are married. Two have grandchildren. Most of us remained in New England. One moved to Seattle. The last time we were all together was 25 years ago at our Nana Ryerson’s memorial service. Each one of us has a story to tell about events in our lives over the past two decades. Our journeys seemed to take us in different directions but in truth we all made decisions based, in part, on our shared experiences.
This past weekend we had a family reunion. Scotty and his wife came for a visit from Seattle and we gathered together for a Saturday afternoon. (Though one of us could not make it). Scotty and Mark baked chicken, and macaroni and cheese. Cary’s daughter-in-law brought salad and homemade corn muffins. She also made strawberry cake because she knew it was a favorite. We each had a taste; even if it was a bite of someone else’s piece. The flavor took us back to the memories of what bind us together so tightly.
We are now the ages that are parents were when we were graduating from high school, going off to college, and becoming young adults. Before the reunion we agreed among ourselves that the weekend would be about us; the here and now. It would be about six cousins who share a strong bond. We have all learned to live in the moment. Yes, we discussed the aging of our parents and we did some reminiscing with the Aunts and Uncle. But mostly we focused on us. Who are we now? What is life like now? Why do we follow our particular passions? The connections are still strong and we easily fell back into the comfortable family dynamics.
What I discovered was that we are still devoted to each other and will give anything in the world to be together. Our relationship is still fierce. But now it is not about survival. It is about peace and serenity. And strawberry cake.

L-R: Mark, Priscilla, Scotty, Heather & Cary Sue


  1. Family reunions are wonderful...

  2. I'm sorry I missed it. Thank you Heather I needed this to remind me that no matter what we are still family