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Category Archives: family reunion

>Second cousin once removed

>If Jozianne lived next door to me, we would be best friends. As it is, we see each other every two years. Our intermittent, bi-annual conversation picks up where we left off without awkward silences. I’m not sure when we got heart-close like this. Over the 47 year span of my life, we’ve spent maybe six weeks total, a mere handful of days, together. Second cousins–it sounds more distant than it feels.

2010. An even year. That means a Boyack Family reunion–my mom’s side. Boyack was never my name. Before I became a Jacobs, I was a Sandholtz. But spending a few days with my extraordinary kin last week confirmed that Boyack runs deep in me. It’s not just the blue eyes, exact mirrors of my own, that surround me at reunions. It’s good humor and generosity, deep commitment to faith and family, the propensity to spin a yarn. Wherever we assemble, it feels like coming home.

Jozianne’s daughter,Jane, played cards with us and we laughed into the wee hours of the morning. Second-cousin-once-removed hardly describes the way we fit. I met Darren and Chrissie, pretty much for the first time, and felt like I had always known them. Jeanie and Merrilyn, my first-cousins-who-feel-like-sisters, planned our three day convergence with sufficient care to create a sweet sliver of what heaven must hold in store.

At the end of every Boyack reunion we meet to discuss the future of these mad, glorious events. The logistics are daunting. Try finding a venue for a couple of hundred Scots who talk a lot and eat a lot and stay up all night because they don’t want to sleep through a minute of their time together. “Can this possibly continue?” we ask. Honestly, it is sheer insanity.

Hurrah for my crazy cousins who decide, time and again, to go forward. Thank heaven for old-school lunacy that favors face-to-face conversation over Facebook; that drives or flies 1,500 miles to catch-up with family instead of just catching their Twitter; that doesn’t settle for an extensive Contact list in lieu of actual contact. I have no fear that the sad irony of living in a hyper-connected world and yet feeling disconnected from real people will ever overtake the Boyacks. No. We’ll do what it takes to find ourselves in a room together, wearing goofy Boyack t-shirts and laughing out loud, drawn by the singular delight of coming home.