The Ties that Bind


I am often reminded that family ties can be broken. Life happens, people come and go in your life for reasons and seasons. Some by choice, and some by circumstances. There are some ties that cannot be broken, they are part of the thread of who you are, the ones that never unravel.

Many parts of my family circle have been severed. Many have left this earthly home to be a part of another. I have had those that made a choice to severe the threads, toss them out for a new garment, not worthy of doing the mending. The ties that bind, are just that… whether you are a tattered thread, or a three-chord strand, that is not easily broken, they each remain woven as a part. I am thankful that I have more ties that bind than those that do not. I am blessed beyond measure by these, they are my treasures in my circle of life.

Cousins are so much a part of most people’s lives. I could write an actual book here, a comedy, a drama, or even a suspense novel. I had great ones! but there is always that “one” that ties you to everything you were, and everything you are presently.

We were Daddy’s girls from the beginning. Our Dad’s were brothers, who happened to have married sisters. It has truly been a circle with no beginning and no end. Constant. We were each other’s favorite lifelong playmate, we never spent enough time together. Weeks together or weekends would always find us crying and begging our parents for one more day of visiting. Our mother’s hated for the visits to come to an end.. partly because they knew they would be dealing with the two of us wailing and holding on to one another for dear life.  We are double first cousins (funny I know)..but we deemed one another sisters from toddlerhood. We still do.

We have history,  lifelong stories that we often share with our own daughters. Who knew that frog gigging and eating an entire block of Velveeta cheese would bring a burst of laughter to this day. We visited each others schools at the end of the year for “visitor” day..Have had one another’s back in a girl fight more than I can count. We devised every scheme possible to fully enjoy our summers together, to make time last. Really, who else would agree to ride on the senior citizen bus route with our Uncle Jr.-  just so we could go to town and get out of that holler? only to find that the idea of getting an iced cold pop, meant stopping by the roadside and buying a hot watermelon-thanks Uncle Jr.

We grew up together, although we lived hours apart. We have cried together, laughed together, sang together….even planned to live in an apartment together when we could drive, eating only our favorite foods of soup beans, and pizza!  We had plans to go to flight attendant school together! We shared our dreams together always. I am thankful that our mother’s made such painstakingly efforts to see that we spent time together. They never worried about us being together so much that we began to get tired of one another and argue. It never happened. After 40 some years, we have yet to share a cross word.

Being named after my own mother before I was born, the tie was formed and tightly bonded. There is no way that my mother could have foreseen what a blessing her namesake would become to her in the years that would follow. She would have walked through fire for my mother.. in ways, she did just that many times.  I will never be capable of repaying her for that kindness.

We have both experienced the losses of our parents..our Dad’s first.. followed by our Mothers passing within a month of each another. We have often remarked that they always wanted to be together, just like us. They spend every holiday together now, eternally.  Our family circles have been broken here, but our ties continue to bind us.

I am blessed to still have this tie. I depend on it. Although we see seldom see one another face to face, our ties do not waver. Years and miles have not been able to separate our bond with one another. She is real with me. I never question her intentions toward me, if they are superficial or fake. If you have a already know this bond… ours just happens to have had different parents…

The ties that bind…. are important. They are what holds you together when the world attempts to make you unravel. Sometimes they are your last thread of hope. Take some time – soon – to strengthen your ties that bind… try not to discard the ones that are a little “frayed” on the edges… unattended, it will only continue to unravel…If you sew, you already realize that sometimes severely frayed edges need to be cut to prevent further damage…I pray that you will know the difference.


4 thoughts on “The Ties that Bind

  1. GREAT piece today, D! I was sort of stuck in the middle between cousins who are either much older or much younger than me. That’s why I’m glad my mom’s sisters aren’t much older than me. They became more than aunts to me… they were my playmates, guardians, mischief makers and instigators… Their daughters call me Aunt Em because they forget sometimes that we are cousins since I’m so much older than they are. My aunts made my childhood very, very happy. With them, what you see is what you get… and we haven’t ever had cross words between the three of us either. Lately, I try to remind them at least once a week that I’m thinking of them and love them to pieces. Thanks for the memories, D…

  2. Denise this is great you dont know what these words mean to me. Ok yeah you do. I know I mean alot to you and you to me. Sometimes I dont know how I would have made it without you in my life. I thank God for you my sister. I dont think I have cryed and laughed so much at one time in my life. Dont know if you relize or not but you just gave me the best Christmas present. What was wrote along with two of my favorite pictures. You know we did have the best parents in the world. Im so proud to have been named after my Aunt Helen I love and miss her so much. No know I miss Dad and Mom so bad but I also miss Aunt Helen she has always been a big part of my life. From the time I was born until the time she went to be with Jesus. Will never forget her telling me I was her second Daughter worth my weight in gold. So thankful for are close childhood together I love you so much.

  3. Phyllis Powell

    Good work Denise. I had two cousins that were special to me. Nellie Mae Bowens and Wanda Johnson. They were my second cousins who were close to my age and my sister Charlene’s age. We spent a lot of time with them, but when we moved to Maryland when I was 11, I lost touch with them. I still wonder where they are and how to find them, but I’ve had no luck since I don’t know their married names.

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