Friday, November 4, 2022

Cousin Lucy

Today is my cousin Lucy's 75th birthday. She and I were born just 6 months apart and we are the daughters of sisters, women who died way too young. Finding ourselves here in 2022, both celebrating our 75th birthdays, is a surprise and a blessing. LuAnn McGill was her given name and somebody, probably her daddy, nicknamed her Lucy.








She was a pretty little girl who learned to play the piano, accordion, and sing gospel songs in church while she was very young.









Our mothers' Smith family, Verla and Will's seven children, grew up in Southern Illinois and after they married moved where there was work, several making their homes in Indiana, others in northern Illinois, and for awhile my parents moved "out west". But we all tried to get back to Southern Illinois for family reunions when school got out in early summer. 









And Lucy's parents visited all of us cousins in our homes. I have such fond memories of Aunt Betty arriving with the makings for bologna sandwiches with sliced onions and mustard, with cold coca-colas. We loved to laugh together, poke fun at ourselves, and catch up on how everybody was doing.










And my visits to Oaklawn, going to rummage sales, late night visits to Chicago hot dog stands, sewing "tight skirts", so tight they tore when we stepped down one step, and going to church with you, are precious memories.










Before long Verla and Will's grandchildren were getting married and having children of their own. 








Lucy's and Otis's wedding party in 1966.

We continued to gather together in Southern Illinois each summer, but now we were scattered across the country, and some flew in on planes while others drove many miles across several states.






 Karen, Otis, Lucy, and Johnnie







 Aunt Lou and Lucy










Pat, Lucy, James, and Tracy








And then, in 2017, Lucy and Otis came to Colorado to visit me and Bob! We loved having them here and Lucy played Bob's piano for us and sang. Wow! We knew it might be a once-in-a-lifetime visit so we savored every moment. 









Thank you, Otis and Lucy, for making that long drive across the country, from Tennessee to Colorado.





Over these last 75 years we have maintained a close connection as cousins. The Internet and Facebook have helped us stay in touch, share photos, reminisce, and get to know the newest, youngest members of our family.

Happy Birthday, Lucy!! I am posting this earliest photo I have of you and I together when we were just babies. 75 years of shared memories, some of them fun and some of them sad, even tragic. But here we are cousin, headed in to our 76th year.





Remember the fun times, always.

We didn't even know how to swim!

And Lucy, thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing your faith with me, teaching me about the Lord. Through all your pain and heartache you have shown us cousins how to trust God, always.