I adore my Mom's first cousins. They really were there for me with their unconditional support when I decided to leave home at 18 years old. No nice Italian girl leaves home at 18 unless she's headed down to the altar. Even if you enrolled in college you better be close so you 'll be home in your bed every night.
Those cugini are on my "A list." I had to deal with those relatives that loved me however didn't like me for my decision to be on my own. Freedom is a better word. Ah, what price freedom? It was all worth it! The California cousins and their lifestyle evolved around the more open-minded way of thinking -- my kind of people who accepted my decisions with enthusiasm and encouragement. It is important to be close to family if you can so long as there is no senseless drama, jealousy or lunacy involved in the relationship.
When something becomes so much work it is better to walk away and cherish the memories past. Keep an arms distance to well your heart. There is so much of life to live and experience joy and peace of mind. Last fall I met a new cousin for the first time in Los Angeles -- my sweet and precious cousin Jessie C., who grew up in San Jose. She brought into focus the importance of family no matter how far. Her Grandfather Paul (one of Mom's first cousins) and myself have kept in touch for years -- so close and yet so far away however always in my heart.
Jessie C. and boyfriend Rob were helping out Robs' Aunt Rose run her restaurant in The Hamptons, New York -- Amagansett to be exact. A summer trip was planned to visit this grand place on God's fine earth. In this paradise I connected with Cousin Jessie's Dad, Gregg (cousin Paul's son) and her brother Waite. It was magical for us to experience this family reunion.
During a family dinner in Montauk I presented Jessie with a family heirloom. A hand-crocheted white coverlid made by her great-great Aunt Connie C who had made it for my Mom Josephine. Jessie and the great-great aunt share the same last name!
The delight and smile of appreciation from Jessie said it all! Everyone can have loads of friends however blood relatives who are in your court are a treasure to behold. If you're in Amagansett and you want a fabulous dinner go to Sotto Sopra on Main! Tell Aunt Rose I said hello!
Buona giornata and God bless the United States of America!
--Mary N. DiZazzo-Trumbull
Read prior weeks' "All That Zazz" columns at www.allthatzazz.com. Mary is a third-generation cosmetologist and a Massachusetts distributor of Kosmea brand rose hip oil products. She may be contacted at (978) 470-8183 or firstname.lastname@example.org.