Hello Again by Valerie J. Patterson

Last week, my cousin Bill and his wife, Cindy came for a visit from Kansas.  They were taking a 2-week holiday to a couple of cities and to visit various family as well as some new sight-seeing excursions.  I was beyond delighted when they included my hometown and my home on their itinerary.

It’s been a few years since Steve and I have last seen them.  In fact, the last time it was one of those, “We only get together for funerals or weddings” type of visits.  Thankfully, that was a wedding–always a joyous occasion!  This trip, however, was neither a wedding nor a funeral–it was pure enjoyment, and it was long overdue!

I sat patiently–okay not so patiently–on the sofa and awaited their arrival all the while sitting with my nose practically stuck to the glass of our picture window!  Finally, I caught sight of their truck and–more importantly–their two familiar faces and I was off the sofa in a shot and out the front door.

“They’re here!” I yelled to Steve and he soon was behind me out the front door.  I barely allowed them to exit the vehicle before I was dishing out hugs with a massive smile on my face.

Once inside, I was offering food and beverages and seats.  We sat for hours and talked and laughed and even shed a few tears before the luggage was even out of the back of the truck!  Then we were off to dinner where more laughter and talking ensued.  Oh!  The time passed way too quickly!

After dinner, we went back to the house and out to the gazebo with a bottle of wine and stories from our childhood mixed with updates on their lives and their children.  We talked about all those loved ones who were now missing from our lives.  We shared funny episodes from family gatherings, we made several trips through the family tree, and our tongues never tired and the stories never ceased and none were repeated!

The following morning, Bill and I were the first to rise.  It was so good to sit in the living room with him and talk quietly.  It had been so long since that had last happened.  I savored the time that seemed but a moment to get personally reacquainted with my cousin.  I felt selfish wanting to keep him there as long as possible, all the while knowing he had other family to see in other cities, other states.  For that time, he was a willful captive and it is time I will cherish.

Over breakfast, more talking, more laughing, and a few more tears.  When the visit came to a close, and they packed up the back of the truck, hugs went around quite a few times.  It was hard to let them leave knowing it would be a while before hugs came around again, but it was a wonderful visit–one filled with love and sweet, sweet memories.  One that created new sweet memories!

Family is indeed a precious blessing from God.  Every visit should be such a joyous occasion whether the family lives around the corner or half a country away.  Time passes too quickly, and life is way too short not to make time to visit and reminisce, relive old memories, and create beautiful new ones.

Until next time, may there be warm hugs, boisterous laughter, and even a tear or two whenever your family gathers!

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14 responses to “Hello Again by Valerie J. Patterson

  1. I’m grinning from ear to ear, Valerie. What an awesome visit you had with your cousin. As a family who is about to (in one week) enjoy the marriage of a beloved niece, I am very much looking forward to more of the same. I completely agree with you about these times being precious and not to be squandered. And I’m so happy for you, getting that time. Thanks for the smile I’ll carry with me throughout the day! 🙂

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Thank you, Laurie! How was the wedding? I hope you enjoyed yourself and got to visit with many you might not get to see often enough. It’s so good to reconnect! 😛

  2. so exciting and I know they were thrilled to be greeted with such enthusiasm. I am so glad you had this time with them. How wonderful and special!!! I love that you are so close and have such a great relationship. Family is everything. Jillian

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Family is our richest blessing! I miss my cousins. I have them in North Carolina, Kansas, Louisiana, Michigan, New Mexico, California, and Florida, and visits are too far in between! They all used to live in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. But, social media has made it a whole lot easier to remain connected and up to date on one anothers’ lives. Thanks for reading! 😛

      • Amen. I fought against Facebook for so long and am so glad I finally gave in and made an account since I have def. been way in more contact with family. All levels, from aunts and uncles to cousins to great-nieces, etc. It’s a wonderful thing.

      • Valerie J. Patterson

        I am not one to use the phone at home because, well, it rings all day long in the office! So social media allows me to remain in contact without burning up the phone lines. Plus, I love all the photographs I get to see instantly instead of perhaps in a Christmas card!

  3. Loved reading your blog with my morning coffee. A great way to start the day. It seems that families used to be closer. But then it seemed days, and weeks were longer too so I might be just me and the aging process.

    Thanks for sharing.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      I think it’s also a generational thing in families. While I was growing up, my cousins were my best friends. Family time was a weekly event. Then every one grew up, married and moved away. Now, it seems a generation gave way to another generation and those cousins are close (if you followed that), but the generation in between was too scattered to be close. Thanks for reading! 😛

  4. What a “feel good story” thank you for sharing!!

  5. What a great post, Valerie, and how lovely that you got to spend such precious time with your cousin. I hope it’s not too long before they head your way again.

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Thanks, Tricia! It really was a great weekend and I hope it is not years before we see one another again! 😛

  6. Lovely post. Families are so important and each moment spent together precious. I’m glad you enjoyed their visit and hope it isn’t too long before you see them again. 🙂

    • Valerie J. Patterson

      Thanks, Kit! I hope it’s not too long before the next visit, too, but you know how time ticks off and we don’t seem to pay that much mind until it’s too late. You and your sisters have the right idea…annual trips together! 😛

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