Tuesday, February 20, 2007

My boys are so lucky

While growing up, my family never lived near any of our extended family, so when we went on vacation, generally it was a long car trip out East to visit family. It was always fun when we got to see our cousins at the same time.

I remember one particular trip to my dad's parents' house. My cousin David and his family were there at the same time. David and I are only 6 months apart in age. When we were growing up I would tease him that I was 6 months older than him. He obviously didn't forget that, and now he teases me that he's 6 months younger than me! David and I were always very close. One night on this trip we were staying up later than our parents knew - we were actually hiding in a closet and talking. I remember that we talked about getting married one day. Actually, I probably told him that we were going to get married since I'm a fairly "assertive" person :-). Little did we know about all those social mores against first cousins marrying each!

We managed to stay close throughout the years despite not getting to see each other that often. He was particularly affected when my brother Brian was killed by a drunk driver, and while he was in college used his experience and feelings to create a program directed at other students. He has been a huge advocate against drinking and driving.

I even ended up (inadvertently) introducing him to his wife. My roommate from college, who was also my roommate at the time, and I went down to Atlanta to visit my friend Karen, and my grandma. David came out to see me, and met Daniella at the same time. They ended up talking on the phone and emailing each other over the next 6 months until he decided to come up to VA to visit. Daniella asked me to take some time off work to spend with David as well. I let her know that he was NOT coming to visit me :-): he had someone else he was more interested in seeing. So, while we didn't ever get married (whew!), I have been incredibly fortunate that he ended up marrying one of my dearest friends and that they live about a half hour from us.

While David and I never married, he has adopted my children as the "kids of his heart". For Christmas he got each of them a set of baseball cards for the past year. This was something his parents did for him while he was growing up, and he wanted my boys to share the experience. He loves my boys so much, and they are so lucky to have him in their lives, just like I have been lucky that he has been in my life.

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