Thank you to all my dear cousins who were there for me at different parts of my life, many who have reconnected through the magic of Facebook.
To Mary Lou and Martha, whose parents cared for me when my sister and her family were killed; who were always there when other family tragedies struck and fun times occurred; and who came around to check on my parents and debate politics with me regularly.
To Deloris, who was my walking to school companion, and whose grace and beauty I admired and admire still.
To Laquita, who took me under her arm and into her home often to teach me badminton, tennis, volleyball, picnics, hanging at the community pool, sunning, and all the normal childhood summer activities. You have a true servant’s heart.
To Shannon, whose sweet,innocent spirit inspires me still, who made trips to the country fun, and who wore shorts and pants like me despite our uncles’ raised eyebrows.
To Rodney, whose hours of ghost story telling, marble playing, and giggles forged a commonality that was also based on being the baby of the family and thus caregivers of our family unit. And for the beautiful eulogy you gave our mother.
To Vernon, whose beautiful, heartfelt prayer at mother’s funeral soared through the roof and straight to heaven, and for the plaques you made for me to give as Christmas gifts decades ago.
To Patty and Laura, who helped me to understand the mysteries behind my father’s side of the family, and for our parrot head meals and events.
To Joe, gone now but forever in my heart, who lived life on his own terms and whose outrageous sense of being I loved so much.
To all of you who came out so beautifully to support me and our family in a dozen different ways, especially when paying final respects to our father and our mother without even being asked. They were beautiful expressions of familiar love, of coming together that I will never forget. To all my cousins, though we are apart, you are loved.