Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins

My friend Mel just got back from an uncle’s funeral, where he met family members he did not know he had.

Personally, I’ve met more relatives at funerals than I have at weddings…but maybe it’s because weddings require an invitation.

Last month, my uncle told me that my third cousin had died. No, two cousins didn’t die before her. She was my third cousin because our great-grandmothers were sisters. Confusing, huh?

The word “removed” just means a different generation. So, my first cousin’s children would be my first cousins once-removed.

I had not met the deceased, but her obituary photo looked just like my uncle…but without the beard.

But I went to her memorial service so I could mingle with familiar relatives, plus meet new ones. As one of my buddies says, “You need to know cousins in several states, so you can travel cross-country for free.”

The deceased cousin was 97, and she had lived a busy life. She’d been married four times, each one an upgrade from her prior spouse.

At one time she’d also been a softball umpire. Maybe that’s why she married so much. When a husband disputed her decision, she just called him “out.”

Since the funeral was at the grave site, attendees then walked to a nearby large tent for a reception. I’ve never seen so many familiar-looking folks whose names I didn’t know.

I talked to several second cousins, third cousins, and even one old guy who looked like he’d wandered over because he smelled coffee.

He might have been a great-uncle. Who knows?

After the event, I remembered what an old friend told me: “Any time an event serves food outdoors, you’ll see lots of aunts.”

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