When I was at the hospital with my dad during his last two weeks with us, and I was waiting for my brother and son to travel from BC and hoping they’d make it home in time to see dad, I was tired and stressed and sad. I was also staying at my parents’ house and looking after my mom. Then one moment on one day, I looked up and two of my cousins just appeared from nowhere.

Without questions, without any hesitation, they began to help with dad. And it wasn’t easy as he had a lot of things going on and not much sleep time for anyone. But that is how my cousins are; they just join in and help out without even thinking about it. So we took turns and helped dad with his needs.

And then more cousins arrived and yes my brother, and other family members arrived in time to see dad before he passed away.  One of my cousins helped my brother to trim dad’s nails, my brother gave him a shave and my son and brother stayed the last night with dad and another son was there when the time came to call me and get me to the hospital. I had been able to go home and sleep.

On the night that dad passed we gathered at  my house and one of my cousins made a tiny canoe with an offering of prayer and a candle and we lit it up and sent it out on the lake for dad.

It was cousins who sang or spoke their memories of dad at the viewing and funeral.

I thank God for my family and a special relationship with my cousins; both the Cameron cousins and the Tetlock cousins. It just happens that the Cameron cousins have always lived near us and we grew up together so I have always had close relationships with them but my Tetlock cousins are also near and dear to my heart.

This past weekend my cousin came to spend the weekend with me. It was great to have some girl time together. We drank wine and talked to the wee hours. We never run out of things to talk about.  She also made some bannock for mom and I got my hair trimmed. I think cousins are great and I know they’re just a phone call (text or email) away.


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