Non-Kissing (or Hugging) Cousins

So my great-aunt’s wake was today. I’ve been to my fair share of wakes in my day. I’m thankful that this one was for a 91 year old.  I’m not making light of her  death, but the wakes for younger people are very different. She had a long, great life that we can reminisce fondly over.

My cousin “Franklin” was up from Virginia. Franklin’s a year younger than me. His mom, Aunt “Beth” and his younger brother “Stan” came from Long Island.

Aunt Beth always looked like the actress Julie Hagarty, best known (to me) for playing the stewardess Elaine in the comedy Airplane! Sounded like her too.


She was married to my Uncle “Nunzio,” my dad’s brother, who passed away in 1979. My dad passed away in 1981. Yes,  both very young and awful shames.

With the two brothers gone, my family and Aunt Beth et al grew apart rather quickly and didn’t see each other anymore, more or less. Now only for weddings and funerals.

So I had some good catching up with Franklin today. He’s married with a couple of boys, one of whom has my first name and we all have the same last name, of course.

He’s a nice man, good hearted, very straight laced. The thing is we’re first cousins but strangers. We shake hands upon greeting. It’s a shame.

We updated each other on phone numbers and email addresses.  The “let’s stay in touch” energy is always high when we see each other. Hopefully it will last this time.

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