I woke this morning thinking about my cousin, John Johnson. I heard from my aunt that John had passed away at the young age of 45 in early January.
Memories of times spent together as we were growing up flowed through my mind. Playing a game of jumping over the heater vent that was between the kitchen and the living room in the house on West Park. Going swimming in their pool ~ I was quite impressed that they had their own swimming pool! I remember having picnic's at Grandma & Grandpa Johnson's place - it was like a huge park in the middle of town. I am sure if I were to go back to Grandpa Johnson's place I would find it to be just a large lot with lots of trees surrounding the house.
When I married, I lost contact except via the mail and later email and phone calls between my aunt and her family. I would think of them often and wonder what John, along with his sisters Lee Ann and Bonnie were doing. Then Ron and I reconnected with my aunt in the 90's. Many things had changed, my aunt was remarried. Uncle Don is a sweet and loving man, he reminds me of a big teddy bear. They now live on 1500 acres in Lake County, CA. They have a real cool place: it has the main hunting lodge (that sleeps a lot), the caretaker's quarters (where my Aunt Joan and Uncle Don live), and then the cottage which is a two bedroom comfy place to stay (the bed is the most comfy I have ever slept on). Lee Ann, a teacher, has a daughter, Marcy and Bonnie & Kent have three little girls and also live in Lake County and John was living in Winnemuca, NV, and Chris lives in the Bay Area, she is Uncle Don's daughter from a previous marriage.
We were able to see the whole family except for John at Thanksgiving 2005. That Thanksgiving I also reconnected with my mom's Uncle Jimmy & Aunt Barbara. We were sorry John could not make it for the holidays. Yet, it was good to reconnect with so many family members.
Then last week I got an email from my Aunt Joan saying that John had passed away. I feel for my aunt ~ it is not right for a parent to have to bury a child, no matter how old the child is. Since then I have thought about John a lot. I feel sad that as a part of my family I didn't really know him. I wonder what kind of conversations we might have had with each other. I wonder if we each did things in our lives that the other would be proud of. I wonder what he liked to do for fun? If he liked movies or more physical stuff. All my wondering will not give me any answers.
Now I just wonder he if is with the Lord ~ I believe he is as I believe God is a Fair and Just God and will honor the prayers of those who cry out to him during his life time. What I hope to learn from this is to reconnect with family, and friends who are like family for we never know what our lives will bring.