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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Family Love

We resilient bunch of military folks know how precious time with family can be.  Our kids know it and feel it too.  A fun filled, family fest took place this last week and I wanted to share the love with you.

Two of my cousins, who are my age, have been a couple of best friends since we were born.  I’ve donned the name Kissin Kuzzin Kelly for as long as I can remember.  I assume it’s because there must have been some kissing of my beloved family.  I don’t remember how the name erupted, but it has always stuck.

Getting to spend days together touring Albuquerque was a gift.  As if just being in the same zip code wasn’t enough; our hosts showed us New Mexico with gusto!  I give them a ton of credit because maneuvering 6 adults and 3 children was no small task.  Oh and did I mention that there were 3 dogs in our midst as well?  Yet we all got along and shared laughter, great food, and fun.  We will be forever grateful for the effort that our hosts put into our visit.

Memories of handstand contests, canine shenanigans, art appreciation, and baby glee are just a few of the things that will make me smile for weeks because we got to share them with family.  My children’s questions about the next time we’ll see each other hurt my heart.  They love my cousins too.

We were all lucky to be given the chance to love each other and have fun together.  Being far away from all of my wonderful family just plain stinks.  This family has always been a source of great pride because of its big and loud and creative fun.

From time to time families have trouble getting along and because old resentments wrap around hurt feelings like a kudzu strangle hold.  It’s unfortunate because it prevents the love from growing.  My kids know no such resentment.  We are all too grateful when we’re given the opportunity to be around family, all family.

Being around my cousins this past week merely reminds me that the love for family isn’t muted by distance.  There is no vine holding the love we have for all of our family inside.  If anything it makes me want to reach out to each and every one of them and let them know how much we love all of them.  I am left wishing that we could make every family event and have holiday dinners together like we used to.

Unfortunately, we live way down here in the Bayou and it is just not possible to be as physically present as we'd like.  Those old holiday traditions we used to enjoy so much are a thing of my past.  Some have been carried into my children’s worlds, but their perception of the extended family will never be what we had growing up.  

Our little military family will continue to be resilient and soak up any family time with can get with as much joy as we can muster.  Family resentment and drama are just simply not an option.  We can only feel love and appreciation for the times we can be together because we only get it in doses that drift away far too quickly.

Take a little advice from this Kissin Kuzzin and thrash away at any kudzu that is holding back your love for your family.  The older we all get, the more we are going to need the people who were important to us when we were young.  We can’t recreate the past, but we can create a “love”ly family future.    

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