Living, I mean really living and not just getting through each day, might just be the hardest thing I do. Some days it's easier than others but no day is easy and remembering why I work so hard at it takes a lot of effort.
So, since it just makes sense to make things easier when you can, I'm going to spend the next sixteen days making a list of things in my life for which I am grateful. Some will be big and some not so much. In no particular order, each will be something that makes me smile, helps to center me, and keeps me moving in a generally forward direction.
Today's thing, first on my list, are my nieces and nephews; Britt's precious cousins. For those of you who don't know, I have six brothers and sisters (three of each) and among them they have twelve beautiful children. I used to dream of being an only child, but Britt did not love it. She was fortunate, though, to live close to some of her cousins and to get to visit the others. She adored her Capital C Cousin, Christopher. They were inseparable for most of their childhoods. She loved to talk about the weekend she spent at college with her cousin Amanda, and the time she went to Elizabeth City and her cousin Sean took her to coffee shop called "Muddy Waters." She went on a cruise with her cousins Bobby and Megan and her oldest cousin Susan's college graduation made her cry. Her little cousin Anna, born just a few months before her high school graduation, stole her heart. She never met her littlest cousin, Jack; he'll be two next week.
She loved her cousins with a fierceness that, not being an only child, I never quite understood. I love them, too, and am grateful for all the ways they remind me - every day - that good things continue to happen and that time, and I, must keep moving.
And, since no post is complete without at least one picture, here's one of my favorites: Britt as Bridesmaid to her cousin Amanda, in September of 2004.