Thursday, September 9, 2010

Happy 50th Birthday to a Special Cousin

This birthday wish goes to a cousin who has impacted my life in a very special way.  I will keep his name anonymous because he does not really like a lot of fanfare, however, this message is dedicated to him. In the years prior to "the great sadness" that entered my life, I enjoyed countless hours hanging out with JM.  We attended grade school together through the eighth grade and spent entire summers on the tennis courts or camping.  We even competed against each other in high school.

Today, my younger cousin is fifty years old.  We dream of one day partnering up to play in doubles tournaments.  He was the first Mulligan to escape Alcatraz island and then inspired me to do the same.  One day in grade school, he brought a bunch of rubber bands that had been tied together to class.  He asked me to help him stretch them out to see just how big the chain really was.  We slowly stepped backwards while holding on to the rubber bands until we were at opposite ends of the field.  Suddenly, a strange noise filled the air as the rubber bands raced at me with lightning speed.  My body was covered in red welts, the result of one more "incident".  There have been many more memories created since that fateful day on the playground.  Yes, this cousin has had a ripple effect on my life that will continue for generations and I am thankful that he has been such a positive influence on my life.

Happy 50th birthday, cousin.  I will see you on the courts.  Thanks for being a bright light in my life and for giving me my favorite quote..."acknowledge...move on."  It comes in handy on days when you are covered in red welts from difficult circumstances.

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