My mom’s sister, my Aunt Loretta, is 94 and although she is going strong for her age, she is getting up there too. I remember my mom talking about growing up with her sister in Rochester. My aunt's two children, my first cousins Skip and Maria, died young, tragically, after years of struggle with MS. Maria’s children, Roz, Kris and Dan (I think that makes them first cousins once-removed), live in and around Charlotte, NC and remain connecting ties. Aunt Loretta and Roz visited in August, a fantastic Luchetti reunion. I felt closer than ever to my mom, who died on March 31, 2003.
My mom’s first cousins are mostly gone, but one of her favorites, Bill Form, a retired Ohio State University professor of Sociology, is also 94 and lives with his sociologist wife Joan. A day trip to see cousin Bill in Columbus was a top priority during Aunt Loretta's visit a few months ago (photo right, very special to all of us).
The children of my mom’s first cousin Nan King and her husband Allen--Ron, Maribeth and Fern--are thriving in New England. We gathered in New Hampshire for a memorial service for Fern’s husband Dr. Bob Meyers in August, a sorrowful gathering but also a chance, all too rare, to catch up. First cousins once-removed and second cousins are important family connectors, too.
On my Dad’s side, the Curro family, I am closest to his brother Sam’s children: Leo, a biologist and retired professor, married to Kathy, retired school principal and community activist, living in Canton, New York; and Leo’s sister Linda, married to Kermit, who still lives in Rochester, where we all grew up and remember many family gatherings. They remain our "original hometown" anchors. My brother Loren, who always called Rochester home, loved visiting them (and my dad's gravesite), as he loved going up to New England to see the Form/King cousins.
Linda and Kermit just visited me in Sylvania. We hadn’t seen each other since I left for Ukraine. We had a wonderful time reminiscing and just being together, catching up in person, talking about our children and grandchildren.