November 27th is the birthday of a male first-cousin I rarely see. Why am I writing about this? I suppose it's because as I get older and older, I wonder about all the familial connections--the ones that never got fully explored...
Jeff P. is a songwriter(He's a really great one--the country star-singer, Alan Jackson has purchased and recorded songs Jeff has co-written, like the popular "The Lie").
Jeff was married for a while to Dolly Parton's niece. When I met this niece, I commented on how much she looks like her Aunt, and she joked "Whenever people say that, I say, 'I have a lot of Aunts--which one? You know, they ALL look like this'." (Buxom, blond, slightly brassy)
Jeff and I could probably discuss writing--he could detail the work of song-writing, the music as well as the lyrics, and I would be able to learn much from him, I'm sure.
His beloved mother, my Aunt Mary, passed away on May 24th, 2003. She was a funny, charming lady with a strong faith.I wish I'd been in a place of faith when she was here with us.It would've tickled her. Instead, she knew me as "a cheerful Atheist, or Non-Theist", as I used to label myself. While there are worse things than not having a religion(having one, and never questioning it, for example) or even any sense of spirituality, I'm sure for Aunt Mary, it would rank among the scarier things to be. But Mary never "preached". She prayed, quietly, reverently.
And she raised two great kids(Cheryl, Jeff P.'s younger sis is herself a swell Mom, though again, I hardly ever see or speak with her, either, though I hear from others how kind she is, etc.).
Aunt Mary was a supporter of both the arts(music particularly, but she loved reading novels too), and also, of "sports" like NASCAR(!)
Is there someone in your family who you believe is very "different" from you?
I could focus on the fact that ol' Jeff P. lives in Nashville, sings country music, loves car races, and probably hangs with people who might find me a very odd lady--an eccentric actress, a writer, married at a late age, etc... OR:
I can see what we have which is common to us both: a love of writing, a strong need for self-expression. We are both without children.(I prefer to call it "child-free", but I don't know how Jeff P. views it)
We're both probably seen as unusual in our family.
Here's to reaching out--to those who are like us, and to those who lead very different lives.
We're all family, it seems.
Hey Jeff P., Hope you had a Happy Birthday!