The Cousin Conundrum, Part 2

To get the full story, please read The Cousin Conundrum, Part 1 first!

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When I landed back in my birthplace after over three decades in the Pacific Northwest, I had great expectations of regularly hanging out with “real” family again and re-connecting with members of my large family tree. Yet, over a decade later, I often feel like I still live hundreds of miles away from most of my cousins, aunts and uncles.

The legendary family Christmas parties and summer picnics have all but grown extinct in my hometown. My generation has chosen not to carry on the traditions that brought our large clan together on a regular basis.   Over the years, each branch of the family tree appears to have grown increasingly independent from the others.

The disparity between my  dreams of having close relationships with my cousins and reality put me into a conundrum—was there something wrong with our family (or me)? Continue reading

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