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Did I mention my cousin?

She was murdered.

Too late; there was a rift in the family, and we never knew her.
(see my cousin-deprived post from last week)
Never knew a thing about her until the funeral. We went, of course. We went to the shiva.

It was seven years ago this week (National Post obit here).


That turned out to be an opening, of sorts. Not a good thing, of course, but a new start.
We now see her mother sometimes, an aunt I met only once, briefly, within my memory. She's technically an ex-aunt, because she divorced my uncle, but my mother has always insisted you remain related no matter how legal the split. Nobody listened to her, so that was the start of the rift, and we never saw the aunt again and her daughters, my uncle's daughters, couldn't spend time with our mutual grandparents. Crazy things happen with divorces: I tried to make sure that didn't happen to my family. I told my mother-in-law I wasn't divorcing her, and I still haven't. Ted's mother is Ted's mother, and I like her very much. But when I say mother-in-law, it's my ex-husband's mother, the older kids' grandmother.

Oh - and we also "discovered" another cousin, the murdered cousin's sister, who we now include in our family events. She and her husband are lovely and fit right in with our family and its zany holiday celebrations.

When Yerachmiel Meir turned 3, I invited a large number of extended family members to his upsherin. My mother thought it was crazy: "We never see them! They never invited us to (dinner, wedding, bar mitzvah, fill in the blank)...!" Which was exactly my point.

What I told her was:
"If he died, chas v'shalom, these are the people who'd come to his funeral. But I'd like them here to celebrate his life, instead."

I don't know if she understood, but maybe she thought I was a little less crazy. I hope so, because I'm planning to do the same thing next year: celebrate Gavriel Zev and his wacky little life like crazy. Invite everyone I've ever heard of. Why not? I can always save money by feeding them Triscuits!

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