My cousin, Steve, passed away recently. He was only 48 years old and died of heart disease. I would describe Steve as a happy, gentle soul who joined in by staying in the background. I don't ever remember him being the center of attention, but he was always there with a smile on his face that could light up a room.
This is my favorite cousins photo. It used to hang in my grandparent's bedroom. I remember the day it was taken like it was just yesterday.
THAT WAS THEN... I was so upset when the photo was taken as I was wearing a hand-me-down dress that I hated. Even at age 10 I knew that horizontal stripes are not flattering! At least the tops of my knee highs were "rolled" down instead of "folded". Rolling was the cool way to wear them and I hoped my knee highs would make up for the ugly dress. All I wanted was to get this photo over with. Unfortunately both Steve and my sister Karen (far right) got the giggles and wouldn't stop laughing. They wouldn't stand still long enough to take the photo and it took forever. I got so annoyed with them. Why did they have to act so childish? Why couldn't they just stand still? How hard could it be to just stand still? What was their problem?
THIS IS NOW... Everytime I look at this photo I can't help but to laugh! It's one of my most cherished photos. Karen and Steve both look like they have to go to the bathroom. No wonder they couldn't stand still! Laurie (Steve's sister, standing next to Karen) looks like the happy go lucky little girl that I always remember her as. Janis (my youngest sister standing between Steve and me) is standing still just as she was told to. Obeying the rules just as she still does today as an adult. When I look at myself, I laugh the hardest. I still worry about what looks good on me and I still hate having my photo taken. And I never wear horizontal stripes!
Goodbye, Steve, thanks for all the wonderful memories of growing up with cousins like you and Laurie. You will be missed by all who knew and loved you.