Monday, July 05, 2004

A Tribute to my Cousin Once Removed

Well I know for sure that it is my mother's 1st cousin, so I think that means cousin once removed to me. Anyways I took time off of work on Friday to attend the funeral of my mom's cousin. This is a person that unfortunately I did not have the pleasure of spending alot of time with while I was growing up, but I feel that I saw a snapshot of her life at her funeral this past weekend.

The funeral had to be one of the nicest that I had ever been too. Just the amount of people that were there to give love and support to the surviving family members was unbelievable. Everyone had positive things to say and some had tributes that lasted almost an hour. My mom's cousin was a person that was very active in her community because a number of organizations gathered to pay tribute. In addition to the organizations and swarms of family, there was also a number of people that she worked with in attendence.

I learned that my mom's cousin's employer was the Illinois Department of Human Rights which is located in the Illinois state capital Springfield. So my cousin basically commuted from the southside of Chicago and basically lived in a hotel for much of the week.

In addition to her active career and community involvement, my cousin still seemed to always find time for family and friends. There were numbers of people that stood up and recalled stories of them having a good time with cousin Tonne.

I am glad that I had a chance to attend the funeral because I learned a great number of details about her life. Unfortunately I didn't learn these things until her passing, but I think this will inspire me to make a better effert to get to know my mother's side of the family a little better than I have in the past. Getting to know my father's side has never been a problem since we get together at least a couple times a year to celebrate graduations and holidays. But I need to make a conscious effort to get to know the other side. I really don't have an excuse for not doing it especially since there is a great number of them that live in Chicago. Hopefully the next time I get a chance to know a family member on my mother's side it won't be from another funeral.

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