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Funerals have a way of making you remember the importance of family. We were always close to our cousins

and Aunt and Uncle in St. Louis when we were children.

As we moved around, and then started having families of our own, we would reconnect periodically with family reunions,

birthdays,

or weddings, but we were kind of out of touch. My mother and her sister talked frequently and we were all kept updated via them. Then in 2006 my Mother died. Our Aunt Virginia then started talking to my sister and I, and again, we knew what everyone was doing. Then Aunt Virginia died. After that funeral, my cousin Sue and my sister and I started keeping in closer touch and we also knew what everyone was up to. Now we talk or text often, and try to get together at least once a year or more if we can swing it. I drove up this past week, and Linda flew in for a close family friend's funeral. We stayed with our cousin, so had time to connect with them too. After the funeral, we got to see even more of the family.

We had a wonderful meal prepared by the excellent cook, Susan

(it was really good, in spite of her saying she can't cook), then we played games together. Our families love playing games and we laughed and played for hours.

It is a shame that we don't live in the same town, so we could see each other more often, but taking the time to stay in touch is important. It is something that our grandparents and parents instilled in us--the importance of family!

Now there is the next generation added in, with another one on the way.

It doesn't matter whether you live next door or far away, whether you have one or two family members or hundreds, take time to stay connected.

Families matter.

An added bonus of driving to St. Louis, is I get to have my White Castle fix.

While I know there are much better burgers out there, there is just something about that little slider that I adore. I had to stop and eat one on the way home as well (at 10:30 a.m.), and even brought some back for the family. I will have to admit, it was not a pleasant drive home. It rained for 3/4 of it,

but I did get out of St. Louis before the snow and ice started, so that is definitely a bonus.

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