When I moved back to my home town after being gone for 30 years where the wind blew me, I thought my cousin was my best friend, like a sister as well as family. We were close to the same age and had a history of sorts. I thought I could confide in her during all the ups and downs in my life which were many. I no longer thought of the things she'd done to me in the past, they were old business, nothing to linger over, what was done was done. We shopped, had lunch, spent hours at each others homes. I dropped everything and was at her side the night her husband passed away. I gave comfort, support and let her know I would be there if she needed me. We were family. When her brother passed away three months later I was there. She was mean to me and her sister-in-law but I chalked it up to loss of her brother.
I've learned a lesson during these past 6 months. While my cousin is family she certainly isn't my friend or sister and anything I confided to her in the years since I've been home has been gossiped around. I've heard she's "always hated me". For what I don't know, I've never said a bad thing about her other than she gets more like her mother everyday. Her mother, my Auntie, my Mom's sister wasn't a very nice person. Maybe she recognizes herself.
I have 6 siblings, 5 sisters and 2 brothers. We all don't get along all the time. This is normal for a family this size. We have our ups and downs. This family reunion and raffle quilt has changed how I think about my siblings. During all this upheaval over this quilt I have come to realize, my cousin while she might be family isn't my friend or my sister. My sisters will stand beside me, present a united front and know me for who I am. They will be there if I need them, all I have to do is call.
In all my years of traveling, I never thought much about family. I traveled the road that took us from here to there always on my own agenda. When my Dad passed away, home was forgotten. I came home for the occasional wedding, funeral or vacation. Home wasn't on my horizon, home was where I happened to be. I've grown up, gotten older and have realized that home is everything for without family what are we. Family is everything.