Cousin It


Writing Prompt: We all have that one eccentric relative who always says and does the strangest things. In your family, who’s that person, and what is it that earned him/her that reputation?

It really hurts me to say this but when I was growing up my second cousin James was “Cousin It” whenever I stayed at my great aunts house I would only see him at meal times, and he would spend the rest of the day in his room, and when I did see him he would just snort and keep to himself; for years I thought it was odd, and since no one ever spoke about it (I don’t remember him being any other way) so I never asked, it wasn’t until years later that in a casual conversation with my mother that she told me that James had Schizophrenia, I didn’t know what it was, so I asked a lot of questions and in that moment, everything about him made sense.

James started taking his medication and moved off on his own, happy with independence, but time happens people loose touch and James slowly started to separate himself from the family.  I went off to graduate school and I got the news that James was “missing” he would no longer answer his phone, when ever my cousins and uncles went to his house he was never there. I think it frightened and devastated us all at the same time. We haven’t seen him in 5 or 6 years,  his brother makes weekly calls to hospitals and the morgue hoping that no one fits his description, and when my mom comes across a homeless person she  makes sure it’s not him. And I pray and hope that he’s healthy, happy and in a good place. I think of him often; especially when it’s cold outside and during the holidays, my only wish is that he would call his mother and say something… just to ease her mind just a little but.

It’s a tough situation for everyone involved, and it’s heartbreaking

Until Next Time….

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