Some years ago I visited a genealogical website and found some cousins. We are the last of a large clan that bred less and less over the centuries and in moving to North America. There is only a handful of us now. I'm still in touch with a couple of them, we email, share jokes and holiday greetings.
One cousin, Nancy, lives in Rhode Island. For years I've owed her photos of her grandmother that I know- or at least think- I have somewhere. With all the moving and repacking in the last few years, I haven't found them to send on. But Nancy's patient, thankfully. Yet another thing on my unending to do list.
Our great-grandmothers were sisters, and their daughters Mabel and Susan were our grandmothers. Being the only girls in their own families they remained close cousins all their lives and wrote letters to each other regularly. They signed their letters identically- "With love, Your Fond Cousin", in their Victorian flourished handwriting.
Nancy and I have sent each other our holiday greetings and it brings a smile when I write my sign off and then see hers: "With love, YFC, Nancy." We don't use the flourishes, or even the whole words, but the tradition is in those initials. Your Fond Cousin. I'm sure Mabel and Susan are smiling, too.
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