My cousin died yesterday. It might have been a few days ago; I don't know, exactly, because I found out over Facebook. Nobody called us because after my grandmother died, my uncle told stories about my father that everyone chose to believe, and now we don't see them anymore.
We were close when I was growing up, all of us. My father and uncle and their three sister-cousins who grew up down the road, all united by blood and time and the what-happened-stays memories they couldn't help but tell all of us, their children, the next generations of cousins. My family moved away from the homeland when my brothers and I were still small. We were only an hour down the road so we saw them all frequently, but not every day like they saw each other. When Grandma got sick after Grandpa died, my father and my mother made the drive back and forth every day to care for her, and my brothers and I came down on weekends to help. My uncle lived ten minutes up the road, half a town over, but he did little more than talk loudly about what should be done and wait for others to do it.
When the will was read he thought his equal portion was less than he deserved, so my father gave him more out of his own part. Extra in hand, he turned to the rest of the cousins and said that Dad, his brother, had stolen more than his share. Maybe it's because we didn't see them every day, maybe it's because it was the easy way out, maybe it's because they wanted a fight to distract from their grief, but they believed my uncle and turned away from us. I suppose that Dad did take more than his share, but it was a greater sharing of her care, nights spent up with her in the hospital and at home, weekends holding her hand, not of any money when she passed.
Anyway, Bobby is dead and I'll bet that my big family is circling their wagons around his wounded parents. There are so many sisters and aunts and uncles and cousins, so many of us. So many of them.
I might send a card. I hope they'll read it.