My First Cousins

Feb 13, 2023 | 2 comments

Wallace, Sydney, Charles — the three oldest — at Fort Canby, 1938

I once had nine first cousins — seven on the Espy side and two on the Little side.  For most of our lives we have lived far apart but I consider myself lucky, indeed, to have known all of them — both on their home turf and on my own and lucky, too, that all of them have been in Oysterville.  Even my father’s nephews Craig and Brian have been here — twice I think.   Two others — my oldest cousin, Wallace Pearson, and Willard’s youngest daughter Cassin Espy actually lived here for a bit, years ago and not at the same time.  But in both instances, I was here and got to know them well.

I am the third oldest in age — the oldest of the six of us still living.  I am shamelessly sentimental about all of them — I love them to pieces, am SO proud of their accomplishments, of their characters, of their families, and of being related to such a remarkable group.  Do I ever tell them so?  Not that you’d notice.  If absence makes the heart grow fonder, it also plays havoc with staying in touch. Charlie and I are talking about going East next fall and paying a visit to each an every one.  I SO hope we can make that happen.

Cousins Mona, Joey, Freddy, Cassy with Great Aybt Dora and Their Mother Hilda – 1947

Yesterday I received a  lovely letter from Craig Little, the oldest of my father’s two nephews and the one who looks so much like Dad that even the two of them remarked upon it.  Three years ago Craig was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease although I’ve only recently learned of it.  He wrote me a long email letter yesterday — I can’t imagine the effort it took — and attached an article from the local paper (Cortland, NY) that he wrote for them recently.  I wish I could quote the entire article, but here are a few of the things that struck me:
There have been positives, as well.  I have already mentioned how the diagnosis of PD explained to me (and  others) many of the behaviors I had been exhibiting for some time…  I have learned to be more patient because nearly everything — from getting dressed to eating a meal — has to be done with INTENT, doing but one thing at a time.  I have slowed down considerably which, if you “go with it” can give you a fresh perspective and experience of things like nature that you never took the time to notice before…
    (Guest columnist Craig B. Little is the Distinguished Service Professor Emeritus at SUNY  Cortland.)

 

2 Comments

  1. Robert O Gwinn

    Sydney,
    Thank you so much for sharing this part of your story. I’m not sure what category of cousin you and I are. I would need to consult with cousin Ralph. Bonnie and I will be staying at Ocean Park for a few days in October of this year. Would love to visit in Oysterville, if you have time. Or at least a cup of coffee at Colleen’s Coffee House. Thanks again for the article above.
    Best regards,
    Cousin Robert
    Allyn, WA

    Reply
    • sydney

      Skyler — I think I answered this before but maybe my computer knows best!!! “Three Pines” is based on the Inspector Gamache series (20 now, I think) written by Louise Penny of Canada. They are fabulous and I urge you to read them from the beginning as her character development as time goes by is her forte.

      Reply

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