The Summer of Love continues

Good day. Good memories. Good conversation. Good laughs. Good times.

My cousin got married this weekend in what was our fourth wedding of the summer (something like the 14th wedding ceremony we've had in the last three years -- at least as far as I can remember; I think I'm forgetting a couple ...). Trouble was I had to attend it without my other half as Kates had a wedding of her own to attend -- a friend of hers also was married in Chicago. A THIRD wedding, a friend of mine, also was celebrating her marriage, but we of course, couldn't make it.

So yeah. My cousin got married. Blah, blah, blah, just another member of the family, right? Perhaps. But for some reason this one struck me more than I had anticipated. I'm not sure if it was that I missed having Kates by my side, or simply being with family, or realizing all of us 'boys' are all grown up, married and talking about starting families.

On Saturday, the memories of my childhood came rushing back as I listened to my childhood minister marry my cuz and his bride and later watched a slideshow of the two growing up -- you know the ones that are so popular at wedding ceremonies now and feature all the pictures your parents took from the time you made funny poses in your underwear to the day you donned a cap and gown. ... I learned even more I didn't know about cuz's life when my uncle told an emotional story of cuz's complications at birth and his near-death.

Throughout the day, all the memories came back of us boys swapping baseball cards, synchronizing our watches to time Sunday church services, decorating Grandma's Christmas tree, ice skating on a backyard pond, crowding my our uncle's room to listen to records, playing basketball in the dark on a June night, camping with the scouts and competing in Little League baseball and youth soccer.

And as I made the two-hour trek home late on this night and continued to reminisce and daydream, one thought came to me: For all the hundreds of positive reasons I had for moving to Kansas more than a decade ago, finally I had come up with one regret ... somewhere I lost the closeness I once felt with my cousins.

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