Dr. Ray Augenstein
Reunions, don’t you just love them. Many people look forward to getting together with family members they haven’t seen in a long time, especially if it was a close family. Some reunions are School or College reunions, where everyone stands around comparing notes on who was most successful. Who had changed the most and who was the oldest appearing?
It had been several years since I had seen my cousins. When we were children, we would see each other quite often, especially when our parents got together for family gatherings at Christmas and Thanksgiving. When I graduated from High School and entered the Navy I lost all track of my cousins and I had moved to another part of the state upon my discharge from service. Everybody changes over the years, especially when the change is gradual and you’re not around to notice it. I‘m not the bratty, obnoxious kid I used to be; at least I don’t think I am. My attitude had been altered by circumstances, education and children. I’d like to think I became a better person over time, especially better looking, but I don’t think many of my cousins would agree with me. I know that we all had different goals and interests that moved us to our separate careers, and raising our own families as well as dealing with the problems of life.
Now that our children have been raised, for the most part, and some of us have retired, a couple of cousins thought it would be a good Idea to have a first cousin’s reunion. Getting the list of cousins together was a task in itself, especially trying to find out where they all lived and their Phone numbers. Next was contacting them and getting a commitment on a date, and a location for meeting. The sad part is that there are some of them who were no longer with us, some of our childhood playmates that passed away for various reasons.
When I arrived at my cousin’s home where we were supposed to have our reunion, I nearly drove passed until I saw a familiar person standing outside the garage door. It was my brother. At least there was someone I knew. I pulled in and was introduced to a bald headed man as my cousin Larry.
Now if you don’t have a reunion every year, and it has been several years since you have seen any of your relatives, I can guarantee that they will all seem like strangers. I only recognized my siblings at first, and after introductions to my cousins I could see some similarity to the kids I played with as a child. It was easier to see my Aunts and Uncles in them, than to see the children I grew up with.
Part of our visit was talking about events in the past that we supposedly shared. I don’t remember half of them. My cousins did a lot of things, that I was absent from and they thought I was involved. Another thing that got to me was the way all these old people kept talking about their surgeries, sicknesses, and relationships. I have enough surgeries and sickness without talking about theirs.
Will I go to another Reunion? Yea, I guess I would, if nothing else but to taunt them about how old they are getting.