My Cousin Lynell
Who In Your Life Inspires You?
I recently was talking to a friend of mine and told her something about a cousin of mine. She was surprised at how close I was to my cousins. She went on to say that she didn’t even know most of her cousin’s names, and certainly didn’t have a relationship with them. She went on to say, she wouldn’t even recognize them if she passed them on the street. This completely shocked me, because to me, my cousins were and still are my world. The way I think, the decisions I make, and the person I am now, and continue to be are all very closely intertwined with the relationship I have with my family, including my cousins. My world when I was growing up consisted in large part to counting down the days until the next time I would see my cousins. The time in-between visits were filled with letters and cards. We would write to each other and think about each other often.
Lynell was about 6 years older than me. When you are a child, it seems like a very large gap. She could babysit after all. She was always so much fun and so wise. I remember watching a cartoon when I was young and in the cartoon there was an owl. I don’t remember very many details of the cartoon except to say, that whenever there was council needed, the children would go to the wise old owl. I knew that I had a wise owl in my life and for me that was Lynell. I used to ask her so many questions. Surely I must have worn her out, but she was so calm and patient with me. Her family did a lot of traveling. I wanted so much to be able to travel and in some small way I got to, through her eyes. She would tell me stories in great detail of what it was like in different places she had been.
When I think of Lynell in my younger years, I remember she was always in the middle of a book. I saw her reading all the time. I thought it was the most curious occurrence, because to me reading seemed so boring and the only people I knew who did read were old. I always thought reading was only for them, but Lynell didn’t seem that old and yet there she was reading a book. Not just any book either, her books were thick and didn’t even have pictures. I decided in my mind right then and there, that one day, when I was older and a better reader, I was going to try it out myself.
To this day one of my favorite things in the world is to curl up with a book and lose myself in the wonderful world of a great novel. I have become an avid reader. It is almost like there is a feeling of anxiety deep in my inner soul. It feels sort of like a pain or a feeling of starvation, but it’s not hunger, pain, or anything of the kind. It is a driving force in my mind that can only be satisfied by a good book. Each night as I get ready for bed, I can’t even consider drifting off to sleep without reading at least one chapter of something, in order to calm the hungry thirst in my soul. Many nights of my life, when I am in the middle of a great novel, I sacrifice sleep completely. I can’t even count how many times my husband’s alarm has gone off in the early hours of the morning and I come to the realization that once again I had been up all night reading.
In large part I now recognize my desire to give reading a try as an enjoyable hobby, was first sparked by my memories of my cousin Lynell. Her example was the reason I decided to crack open a book, not because it was a school requirement, or because there was nothing better to do, but because I was curious to find out why anyone would choose reading as a good use of their time. I had a desire to find out for myself if it was a worthy cause back when I was very young and as you can tell the answer for me then and still is today a resounding yes. Thank you Lynell!