My cousin Allen passed away Sunday night after a courageous battle with cancer. Cancer sucks.
After hanging up with his son, who reminds me so much of Allen, I fought to suppress the natural way minds sometimes drift, trying not to put myself in their shoes...losing a father, a husband. I tried not to dwell on the questions that scream from deep within: Did I adequately express how grateful I was for all he did for me? Did he know how much I loved him? I tried not to feel guilty about not saying goodbye in person. Instead, I tried to focus on the memories, of which there are gratefully many.
Allen wasn't a first cousin - we laughed over dinner as we attempted to figure out his title once..."Second cousin once removed...by marriage. Or something like that." - but to Allen it didn't matter how we were related; all that mattered is that we were.
Goodbye, Cousin Allen. I hope that in Heaven the Yankees always win.