Growing up some of my best memories involve summer holidays in my mother’s hometown. She was raised in a small town in the low-country of South Carolina. There were stretches of farm land filled with crops. Rows of soybeans, peanuts, strawberries, and corn grew along two-lane highways. I spent my formative years with my grandparents and during this time made family bonds with cousins. Most of my cousins were older than me, one in particular Len is about 6 years older.
This year due to meetings in the upstate of South Carolina I’ve had the opportunity to reconnect with my cousin and his wife Terry. Prior to this year our time together has mainly been during family events. However, spending time with them in their home has been like being wrapped in a blanket of love. Yes, I know if sounds sappy, but it is true. They are a loving and kind couple approaching 35 years of marriage.
Both Len and Terry grew up in Christian homes and are very active within their church. They’re both in giving professions educating through music and employed in the health care industry. The spirit of caring is obvious in the bond they share as husband and wife. One of the acts of love that is constant is the opening of Terry’s car door by Len. Terry said, “sometimes we get stares by people.” I think it is because the idea of chivalry & good manners is an old concept, also there is so much focus on feminist behavoir. I am overall a feminist but sometimes it is nice to have a car door opened for you.
Having family members that share our values is important. Knowing there are people in this world that share some of your DNA and family history helps to root you. And having common experience of having both parents being deceased knits the family fabric together even more.
Within my cousin’s home music is a significant part of their life. Just like a perfect composition requires much practice so does a positive marriage. Being married for 25 years myself I like visiting with my older cousins to just talk and spend time with them. Having the pleasure of sharing poetry during this past weeks Sunday service was an honor. The poem included mention of family members and common church experiences.
Life is short and precious; it’s important to take time to spend with those who are important to you. But most of all let them know that they have a positive impact on your life. I know there are those who like me grew up in a small family. This makes it more important to reach out to family or find people who made a positive impact on your childhood. Even if maybe you weren’t very close you can always create a positive bond from this point forward.