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Over 60…And Getting Younger: February 12, 2010

Lousy Cousins

I have been invited to and gone to, many bar and bat mitzvahs, weddings, baby namings, circumcisions, funerals and wakes all over the United States of America. I have traveled to Seattle, WA; Albany, NY; Miami, FL; Vail, CO; Philadelphia, PA; Baltimore, MD; Washington, DC; Atlanta, GA; Cleveland, OH; San Diego, CA; Los Angeles, CA, and Toronto, Canada. Pretty much, “If you invite me and my wife Lorraine, we will come.”

Last Sunday I received quite a family shock! My cousin S— called me and requested that I call him back. It was a 631 number so I assumed he was calling me from Suffolk County. Wrong!

He was calling me from Florida on his cell phone. He sheepishly told me that my last remaining aunt, his mother Aunt Molly, passed away. She was over 90 and I had written a glowing column about her a few years back. Naturally she knew me since my birth 3 score and 10 years plus 5 in 1934. She was a fountain of kindness and generosity and I loved her deeply.

“When is the funeral?” I asked, getting ready to change any plans to get there. “We buried her last Thursday,” was his stunning answer to my query. He added, “I forgot to call you.”

“How could you forget to call me, you knew how much I loved and respected your mother, Aunt Molly.”

“I was just so confused!” he answered.

“You know that was despicable; who was at the funeral?” I asked.

“Everyone that you know,” he said timidly.

“I used to have a modicum of respect for you, but it is all gone now. I always liked you, S—, even through your drug years and your divorces when you were lower than dirt, I still had a warm place in my heart for you. You have hurt and disgraced me and I will probably never forgive you!”

“I’m sorry,” he repeated.

“I’m double sorry. I have lost a beautiful aunt and a cousin I once liked,” I stated sadly.

After a lifetime S— turned out to be a lousy cousin.