I’m not sure how to write any of this so I guess I’ll just jump in. I’ve written before that I have quite a number of cousins and that we all get along really well. I was also lucky enough to be blessed with a couple of female cousins on both sides that are my age or close to it. I lost one of them yesterday. She was a year younger than me.

The shared trajectories of our lives… We knew each other well as children as our families traveled to visit each other a few times a year and we also saw them at our grandparents’ house in Detroit. Her parents (The Comm’s older brother and wife) died when she was in her late teens/early 20s, which is a horrible time to be orphaned and although she was a Force of Nature, I think she struggled a bit. We didn’t see or hear much from her for quite a few years. DISCLAIMERS: This was NOT a feud and when I say “struggles”, I don’t mean lifestyle issues or anything like that. Like so many of us, it was more “what do I want to do when I grow up” stuff. Eventually she found her calling as a teacher and counselor and ROCKED IT!

My mom carefully reached out over those hard years, wanting to make sure Teri knew she still had family who cared about her without overwhelming her. Over the years, Teri married and had a daughter and one summer she accepted The Comm’s invitation to visit the moomincabin, bringing her young daughter and older sister (my beloved cousin Sally) with her. Both my parents were still healthy and my daughters were teenagers and the GG is always fun. We all had sooooo much fun that they came back for more year after year.

Man oh man, I will miss her boundless energy and all of our rapid-fire conversations (she talks even faster than I do) where we were just about finishing each other’s sentences and laughing our you-know-whats off. Talking about our lives and families and all the things we remembered (or misremembered) from when we were kids. It went on and on.

One of my favorite sessions ever was after our eccentric aunt Roberta died. She was the oldest sibling of the five in our parents’ family and outlasted all but one of them, dying at 98. The convo was something like:

Teri: So, did you know that Roberta died?
KW: Nooooo.
Teri: It was a year and a half ago.
KW: [speechless]
Teri: If it makes you feel any better, I only found out a few months ago
KW and Teri: [simultaneously explode into hysterical laughter]

Roberta did not have children so it fell to our remaining uncle to notify the family about her death and he was just kinda beyond it by then.

The last time I saw Teri was summer of 2019 and we were sitting on the moomincabin deck when she told me she was ill. At that time, I wouldn’t have guessed and, sensing she didn’t want this information widely spread, I kept it quiet.

Although we don’t didn’t communicate online all that often, I’m guessing she was well enough last summer to get to the moomincabin but, well, f*ck COVID.

That last time I saw her, during our 2019 deck convo, I did tell her very sincerely that I loved her. She looked at me like I was being a little maudlin. I said, no, I really do and I just wanted to say that. We went back to cackling away about our lives, etc., but I sure am glad I said it.

5 Responses to “Remembrance”

  1. Margaret Says:

    This is a lovely tribute and really illuminates her personality and your relationship. I’m glad you told her you loved her.

  2. jane Says:

    So sorry to hear this.

  3. Pooh Says:

    I’m so sorry to hear this. Your photo of the empty chair with the sun setting behind it is perfect for the conversations that will be remembered fondly.

  4. Jan Miller Says:

    I am so sorry to hear that, Anne. She was always so bubbly and fun to talk to. I have very fond memories of her!!

  5. Paulette Attie Says:

    A beautiful tribute to your cousin, Anne. I am so sorry for your loss. The picture is so very poignant. Hugs.