Close to Nowhere
My friend Jane understands genealogy. I don't.
Cousin Al's dog Lucy is doing great. She's adapted well to the outdoors and the other dogs here. She does still like to be in the house, even though at Al and Frances' house she was never indoors.
Frances and Al have been married eight or so years now. Somehow, I think she's my cousin as well, even though cousin Al is not actually my cousin.
I come from a very small family. I married into a large family. After I got used to being hugged (my family is the non-touchy kind) and the easy, relaxed family dynamics, I loved it. I've even taught my brothers to hug.
Pop had a lot of cousins. One of them, Carolyn, was pretty close to my age. She and her husband Al, lived in Pensacola, Fla. He was in the Navy (or Air Force, I can't remember). When they moved back home, they had a daughter, Laura, who was only six months different in age than our daughter Dana.
Carolyn and I grew very close and our daughters were close also. Son Kris came along and joined the crew. Carolyn and Al couldn't have any more babies and Carolyn's health was bad.
But we all grew older together and Carolyn and I became as close as sisters.
She died at 54 and left me broken-hearted, along with Al and Laura. Now, Laura isn't technically my niece. Al is not my cousin. I can't figure out what relation, if any, we really are.
But in my heart, Laura is and always will be my niece. Her daughters, Miranda and twins Victoria and Isabelle, are somehow my granddaughters as well. Miranda's daughter is another greatgrandchild to my heart.
Al is my cousin, whom I love like a brother. Except, I don't think we're really related. I have no clue how Frances and I are related. She's a very welcome addition to the family though. She brought joy and laughter and Al's weird sense of humor back. She makes him smile.
So, she has to be related to me somehow. I guess we married into the family and that makes us family as well. Just don't ask me what relation Laura is really to me. I'd have to ask Jane.
It doesn't matter. We are all related, not by blood, but by heart.