Next week we are going to California to celebrate the bar mitzvah of my cousin's youngest son. I didn't bother going out when the older two had their big days. It just seemed like too big of a trip for family members I hadn't seen in years. Things change. We get older and what was not important before becomes important now.
My cousin lost his wife a little over two years ago. She was 48 years young, vibrant, happy, full of life. My last memory of her was watching her swing her 11 year old son around the dance floor at a wedding. I had a feeling she wouldn't be around long as she told me she was going to start an experimental program because of the ovarian cancer she had. She never did get to start the program as she died during some exploratory surgery a few weeks later.
What can you say to a 48 year old man who loses the love of his life so prematurely? There are no words to ease his pain. It will be a bitter sweet occasion to see his son become a man without the mother he loves standing by and I know he will need all the support he can get.
We cashed in our frequent flyer miles, booked a cheap hotel and I've got a few personal business days to take. I'll miss being around when my kids take the geometry regents and I will miss graduation, but family comes first. Family will always come first.