I was at a reunion nobody wanted to happen.
My spouse and I, newly arrived by car, were sitting in a pizza parlor in Pennsylvania. Facing me was a cousin who had flown in from Texas and on my right side was another cousin we had just picked up at a train station. The fifth member of our merry group wasn't very merry.
We were there because of him. Or, to be more exact because his wife of nearly 40 years had passed away three days before. We were in Pennsylvania for the funeral.
We spent over two hours in the pizza parlor, talking. The flying cousin and the mourning cousin are both in their late 60's. In fact, they were both born in Brooklyn - born two weeks apart. They were close when young, but then both their parents moved - over 100 miles apart. They kept in touch, though.
And then several years before, the flying cousin had moved to Texas, to be closer to his brother in law.
We all were aging. The flying cousin's wife had to stay home - she was suffering from a physical issue that would make it difficult for her to fly.
One of us remarked that the only time it seems people of our generation get together anymore wee for weddings and funerals. We'll swear we were going to get together but then life intervenes.
We talked and talked. We exchanged jokes and puns. Texas cousin confided that he was having problems making friends in Texas. "Why is it so hard to make friends as you age?" he asked. We all nodded agreement. We've all had the same problem.
We (minus the mourning cousin) were staying at the same motel and shared a Chinese takeout dinner together. We talked and talked at a table in the lobby as we shared lemon chicken, wonton soup, beef and broccoli, and more. The next morning, we had breakfast, and went to the funeral. Spouse and I had to leave early because of the weather, and the cousin who came on train was returning home that afternoon.
We left with an invite from the Texas cousin to visit him and his wife.
Will we, before another reunion nobody wants occurs?