Apparently, I’ve changed a lot over the last few years.
Now, I personally can’t see it. But others can. It’s kind of strange going to family events. My mom was the last of her siblings born, and the oldest was 21 years older than her. It’s a huge age gap. So much so that my mom’s first day as an aunt was two weeks before her first birthday. And my dad was an uncle by 11 or 12. Yeah….it’s like that.
So my extended family dynamic is a little skewed. My mom is the same age as the majority of my cousins, and I’m the same age as their children. Growing up, I would always play with my second cousins at family gatherings. But as time went on, and specifically after my grandma died, those gatherings were just limited to my mom and her siblings. Their children were married and had children of their own so they were starting their own traditions.
Fast forward to my life now. We all know I went to my cousin’s funeral on Monday. It was a beautiful service. I held it together until the first song. A family member from the other side of his family was singing Amazing Grace. She had a beautiful voice! Then the last verse came, and her voice cracked, and then she straight up broke down. Even the officiant was crying! I didn’t stand a chance after that! Mascara streaks on my glasses were the trend for the rest of the day. All I could think during the whole service was Who am I going to exchange rolled eyes with now at family gatherings when my mom says something silly?! It was that cousin who would eye roll with me!
Anyways, so after the service, there was a luncheon before the internment. I was talking to the sister of the cousin we were laying to rest, and she was saying how good I looked. Don’t worry, I kept my regular “Oh my gosh, I know, right?!” to myself and just said thank you. I wasn’t going to bust out that line at her brother’s funeral. Even though she would have loved the confidence.
Then, one of her other brothers (she has two) was behind me. She said “don’t worry, he’ll remember in a minute” and there was just no recognition in his eyes! He’s the one who is less than a year younger than my mom. He said he knew who I was but I’m pretty sure he didn’t. I hadn’t seen him in about 10 years – when we were all together to bury his father. Is that what life is going to be like now? Just seeing family members when we have to say goodbye to one?
I left that cozy circle and made my way to get some lunch. On my way back to the table where all my people were, I passed the other brother. I gave a sad nod of acknowledgement and he walked right past me! I was talking to his wife later, and after he came and sat down and was like “omg I’m sorry T! I didn’t even recognize you!”
Like okies, the last time I saw them I was 22, I’m now 31. I had shoulder length natural hair, instead of my jaw length wig which is a little darker than my natural colour. And I had contacts instead of glasses. Other than that, I really haven’t changed. Or at least not enough that I shouldn’t be recognizable?
Some of the other cousins say I look like my one aunt. My mom has been telling me this basically my whole life. Two of the cousins were saying that a few years ago, my aunt had the same haircut, colour, and similar glasses that I have now so I am like a dead ringer for her. It makes me glad that I’m looking for a change in the new year to all those things hehe. Not that looking like my aunt is a bad thing! It’s just that I like to have my own look.
Then they spent a good chunk of time talking about how this cousin looks like my grandpa (who I never met so I can’t comment) and his brother looks so much like his dad who divorced out of the family. And this one looks like this aunt/uncle, and this one looks like this.
Do people comment on who you look like in your family? Do your cousins ever forget what you look like?