i have been super busy this last week or so. we had out of town company (yuriy's sister visiting and my high school best friend and her husband), visiting the family's new baby, and on Christmas Day my aunt died after a long battle with illness, so services had to be organized, attended, and all of the details handled. it is a bittersweet time, my uncle is pretty upset having lost his ex-wife (who he was still very close with) and the children from the two of them are obviously also shattered. however said uncle also just because a first-time grandpa of kale, from his son by a previous marriage (he has like 15kids from like 4 diff women, it's complicated. multiple children with multiple partners is a family tradition), so emotions are all over the map. i am most worried about my two cousins. the older one also just lost friends in a south city shooting, and i am worried he is going to backslide into reckless danger seeking behavior. (the fact that all of us cousins made it past 18 without stints in jail longer than 6mo (aside from marto but that was complicated) sometimes amazes me considering what we were getting up to as younger kids.) the younger cousin is obviously completely at a loss for how to handle this, and totally denied any real support network that understands children beyond me and his half-sisters. so i am just trying to get them to bring him over him over as much as i can to provide at least one place of stability and refuge that he can be at. it is times like this that i most miss my grandmother because i feel like in her absence this kind of support and stuff falls to me as the only other actual responsible party in the immediate area, in this family. so if you have a moment today, keep my cousins zak and rio in your thoughts. i don't want to see my cousins so devastated by this (expected but still) tragedy to the point where they can never get past it and try and live their lives.
also, i am not posting this for sympathy so you don't have to feel compelled to leave condolences. just as a general "this is why i have kind of been MIA" and a general venting about worrying about my cousins. i really really don't want to see anything bad happen because of these tragic events. i love my family so much and i feel i have to be the responsible lookout nowadays.