Close-knit Bunch


This week, one of the foxes challenged us to find and expound on a family photo that says a lot about the subjects. After searching my shelves of scrapbook albums for a half hour, and scrolling through my digital photo file for another hour, I came up with the picture above.

This photo was taken at Arlington National Cemetery in the spring of 2005. My Uncle Jim was buried there, and all of us flew down for the ceremony. Since it was so unusual for all six cousins to be in the same place at the same time, someone suggested that we take a picture, and they happily obliged. My daughters are the first and third from the left. This is one of my mother’s favorite pictures of all her grandchildren, so I had several prints made. I even had one put on a tote bag for her.

I’ve noted in previous posts that my brothers and I grew up without knowing most of our extended family. While we were growing up, all our aunts, uncles, and cousins lived in Japan, and only two (the ones on my dad’s side) spoke English. There was no communication between our Japanese-speaking cousins and us until Facebook came along. Social media, along with online translators, have made it much easier to connect.

Fortunately for my daughters, they are much more able to communicate with their cousins. Between my brothers and me, six girls were born within the space of five years. They’ve been able to meet and share experiences, even though they’ve lived in different cities. For a few years, three of the cousins lived in Luxembourg.

There are some interesting things to note about this picture. First of all, they are arranged in birth order, from left to right. No one told them to line up that way, but to them it seemed natural. They did the same thing in a Christmas picture a few years before this, and again a few years later at my daughter’s wedding. I’m not sure how they came up with this idea – but then, all six are very intelligent, logical, detail-oriented people. Second, they all lean toward each other, as a cohesive group. They truly care about each other. I think that caring tendency is reflected in the careers they eventually chose for themselves. From left to right, they are school psychologist, pharmacist, human resource coordinator, registered nurse, musician, and teacher. Third, I’m struck by the fact that their smiles all appear genuine. These girls enjoy being with each other, even when they’ve been apart for extended periods of time.

I hope and pray the closeness lasts all their lives.


About Patricia Kiyono

During her first career, Patricia Kiyono taught elementary music, computer classes, elementary classrooms, and junior high social studies. She now teaches music education at the university level. She lives in southwest Michigan with her husband, not far from her five children, nine grandchildren (so far), and great-granddaughters. Current interests, aside from writing, include sewing, crocheting, scrapbooking, and music. A love of travel and an interest in faraway people inspires her to create stories about different cultures. Check out her sweet historical contemporary romances at her Amazon author page:
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8 Responses to Close-knit Bunch

  1. What a wonderful photograph. That’s great that they’re all so close even though they didn’t live in the same towns growing up. They certainly do appear to be a close group who enjoy each others company.


  2. jeff7salter says:

    terrific photo and lovely subjects. I also like your analysis of the grouping — quite astute.


  3. Joselyn says:

    Great photo! I’m slightly befuddled that there are 6 cousins. On my mom’s side of the family, I have 42 and it takes some work for us to stand in birth order. Lol!


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      Forty-two cousins! I wouldn’t have that many people if we combined three generations of my family – on both sides! Yes, I can imagine putting that many people in ANY sort of order would take work. If we took a picture with the cousins on my husband’s side, there would be seven.


  4. Lovely! I had been out of touch with my father’s side of the family for most of my life; I had not seen any of my aunts and uncles and only a few of my cousins since I was quite young. After I made contact some years ago we had a quick reunion and it is amazing how quickly we all fell in together! Most of us keep in fairly regular contact and more add to the ranks.It just amazes me how quickly year and distance can fall away between cousins.
    ( I have lost count of my sons’ first cousins on my husband’s side.It’s somewhere around 70.)


    • Patricia Kiyono says:

      My father-in-law came from a large family, but he was the youngest of 12 and he was over 45 when my hubby was born. Plus, Dad came (alone) from southern Indiana and we’ve never had any contact with whoever is left. So we’ve probably got lots of relatives we know nothing about!


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