Big word. Lots of meaning, feelings, memories - it evokes many different things. Some families are really close. They love to be together, to play together, to share some laughs, joys, problems. It is a blessing to be a part of such a family; to recognize the genuineness, the gift, the complete feeling you get being a part of it all. My dd asks, "so - if so and so is your cousin, that makes his daughter my 2nd cousin, right?" I don't know! But aren't you glad you know them? Aren't you glad you are related to them in some way? Aren't you glad you had this opportunity to make fun memories with them? I am a blessed person. I have been doubly blessed - my husband's family is close and we keep in touch and share lots of memories. But what my aunt and uncle (my dad's sister) started 30 years ago and was continued this past weekend, is amazing. (and I have the t-shirt to prove it.) It is called a family reunion but it is so much bigger than that. When family comes from all over the US to meet in a central location, spends money on gas, food and lodging to stay DAYS at a motel - that is rare, yes? It is special, unique - it is huge. Thank you Bradys for being my family. I love all of you.
update: I found the answer to my dd's question regarding 1st and 2nd cousins - and it has visual aids - needed and appreciated by people like me!!!