One thing about working at home, one loses track of the days, the day, the date. I went on my merry way all day today without realizing what day it was. As it turns out, 24 years ago today (!) I lost my cousin Jim. He was… amazing. In a note given to my aunt upon his death, Jim was described as being at once a good man to have by your side in a fight, the best friend you could ever have, and a poet.


He was the only son, only child, of my mother’s sister, the oldest of the five of us first cousins. I was the sister he never had. He, the bother I never had. We were only children of sisters. We shared… everything. I miss him so. My heart still aches, even after all this time.


Until just before I turned 31 years old, Jim was always three years older, three years smarter, three years more clever. With just two exceptions, he won every game we every played. (I won one normal game of checkers, and one unforgettable game of gin rummy. That’s it. That’s all. It was all fabulous.)


I’ll never forget when he came home from his second tour in Europe, drove more than 200 miles up to the town I lived in. Amidst all the traffic I heard his car drive up to the curb in front of my house. He got out of the car about the time I emerged from the house. He ran up the walk as I ran down it. He grabbed me, swung me around in a circle, hugged me close. We laughed.

Even after all these years I still miss you terribly, dear cousin.

People will forget what you said.
People will forget what you did.
People will never forget how you made them feel.
—Maya Angelou—