Cousins or 姐

We a few days ago received some good news: One of my cousins was in NYC and was hoping to make the drive north to see us.

Her husband and two daughters were with her, along with a son-in-law and a grandson. I last saw some of them four years ago, and, others, eight years ago.

That family is pretty “global.” The ones who visited with us are are based in: Jakarta/Bali, Shenzhen, London, and, soon, Tokyo.

I’m connected to them via my uncle, my mother’s oldest brother. My uncle’s kids all have Green Cards and were educated in the U.S., some starting from elementary school.

My cousin who visited us, Patricia, is the oldest of his children. She went to high school and college in the U.S. and later moved back to Indonesia. After some horrendous race riots in Indonesia in 1998, she and her family moved to the U.S.

All of her children are now grown. One works in California, another in Indonesia, and a third is in Shenzhen, after working for the State Department in China. My cousin’s youngest child just finished university in London and will be teaching for a year in Tokyo.

My cousin now is back in Indonesia and splits her time between Jakarta and Bali.

Got all that? Well, there’s more.

My cousin’s father and my mother were extremely close. So, we saw a fair amount of each other while growing up. She is an incredibly thoughtful and very generous person. During some summers, she took care of me and my sister. She very much is like a sibling to me.

In fact, the Chinese honorific I use to address my older sister and my older female cousins are the same: “older sister,” or 姐 (Jiě). More here, with a funny video at the bottom of this post.

So, it was with great joy that we last night hosted them at our house, and it was fun to see all of the second cousins interact and instantly get along so well. After dinner out, we stayed up late to chat. This morning, we had a good breakfast at home. Mrs. T. pulled together a great meal.

Sadly, it was a short visit. But, it was fun to get the download on what extended family members are up to. The world is pretty flat!

Family members and good weather really make for a fantastic holiday. Best wishes for a great July 4th….

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