When I die, I want to go peacefully like my Grandfather did, in his sleep -- not screaming, like the passengers in his car.

Saturday, December 12, 2009


Tracy and I are cousins.  We grew up in a little town in Illinois, really like sisters.  Her mom baby-sat my brother and me, so we were at her house all the time. 

Knowing all the younger kids, who were not as “cool” as we were, were cramping our style, her mom would send us off on grand adventures:  The tennis courts, the library, or the local swimming pool. Spending all that glorious, school-free summer time together, we became inseparable. We lost each other for a time, though, as young adults.  I was off to college, being a hippie, and then having babies, and Tracy was marrying her high school sweetheart and traveling the Country as a Navy wife, so we drifted apart.

One day, though, and I remember just about the time of year, late summer, when I was hugely pregnant with my son, we ran into each other while out shopping with our moms, in Spurgeons Department Store, the stars having aligned just right, bringing us back to the same space at the same time.  I got her address, wrote her a long letter, and we picked up where we left off, as if the years between were only seconds…and thank God for that!  She’s been my lifeline, and I’ve been hers, for many, many years! 

Tracy is not big on talking about herself, but with a little arm twisting, I was able to get her to say a few words, and here they are:

To the question, what was your most memorable moment, Tracy answered, “Going to DuQuoin to see The Cowsills with you or going to LA to see The Cowsills with you or getting that first letter from you after we hadn't been in touch for several years.”

There is that common bond among so many of us, again, The Cowsills.  I made her like them when we were growing up so I would have someone to share them with.  I don’t think she minded, though!

As far as being a child and what she liked to do as a little girl, she replied, “Hanging out with you. I waited every morning for your Mom to drop you and Mike off, and I was always so disappointed on the days you didn't come.”

And there you have it, my cousin, Tracy, who I love and adore!  Good morning to you.  Here, let me throw open the curtains so you can see that sun shine in! 

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