By Mary Anna Violi | @ Mary Anna Violi
I have two cousins in Dayton, Ohio whom I have known since they were babes in arms: Ann Marie and Jimmy, though in their professional lives they now go by Ann and Jim. They are both younger than I, but I adore them. Ann is an accomplished, experienced social worker; Jim is a savvy, personable businessman. No matter if several months or a year passes, the three of us always are able to pick up where we left off. Our cousinship is seamless and strong.
Much of this strength I attribute to my mother, Catherine “Kitty”, to their mother, my Aunt Agnes, and to our Aunt Adelaide, the three sisters. Those sisters were a close-knit trio, in spite of the geographical distances that separated them in their married lives. Our three families visited over spring breaks, Easter, summer vacations, Christmas, and family milestone events such as baptisms, First Communions, anniversaries, and any other reason to gather and celebrate together. Cousin bonds were forged during childhood, nurtured throughout adolescence, and now into adulthood. What is additionally gratifying is that we engage in the same family practices with our own children. Our children know their second cousins and I must admit, it is most gratifying to observe this delightful next generation.
Dayton is a beautiful, tree-laden city with fine architecture, hilly residential areas, a winding river, universities and colleges, delectable eateries, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and excellent shopping venues. As a child, I loved Dayton and Kettering, where Aunt Agnes and my late Uncle Joe first lived. With the wind in my sails from this most recent visit to Dayton, I am once again reminded of how dear my aunt’s family is to me. How exquisite it is that my daughter feels likewise about her aunt and cousins.
Ciao for now.