I mentioned on my post yesterday about my cousin BJ, and her recent heart attack. Well, today DJ and I took a little trip to pay a visit to my cousin and her family. They live about an hour from us in rural Highland County, Ohio.
While there BJ pulled out all her old photo albums and we reminisced about the "good old days". From about the age of 7 or 8 BJ was my sidekick. I thought of her more as my little sister than a cousin. We did everything together. We started smoking together, dating together (as she set me up all the time with her girlfriends). She was the one who tried to tell me when I was 16 that I was gay and that I should accept it. Of course I denied it at that time. She also introduced me to alcohol and pot. By the time I got married we had drifted apart somewhat (as she had already been married and divorced by then) but we still stayed in contact with one another. Of course my wife didn't care too much for her, and we drifted further. She remarried one of my brother's best friends and had two sons. I was married and had my children. In the past 8 years we have become closer again and stayed in closer contact with one another. She divorced and raised her two sons alone. I of course divorced and accepted the fact of my sexuality that she tried to tell me about decades earlier.
So when my mother called last week and told me she had suffered a heart attack I was upset. Mainly because I had not stayed as close as I wish that I had, and secondly because she is 3 years younger than me. Thankfully she has come out of the heart attack with flying colors and is home recuperating, and as you can tell from the photo (on the right) which was taken today, she is looking great.
The other picture was taken at Christmas in 1969. 35 years have passed since that picture was taken, and to be honest we haven't changed that much. Yeah we have gotten older and wiser (well wiser is a matter of opinion) but we still have that bond. And I have promised myself that I will remain closer to her and try to be part of her life again. It's sad that a sudden brush with death makes you realize what you could have lost.