I just found out that my cousin died. Well, she was my ex-cousin. Ex-cousin in-law technically. She was my cousin’s wife. They weren’t officially divorced so I don’t know what to refer to her as. At one time she was considered a friend. She was even my housemate briefly along with my cousin. I stayed in their house while I was down and out in 2003-2004. Weird. I just posted a story on wordpress.com that I wrote in 2004 about going to see the Cramps with her and my friend.
A little family history. When I was in my early 20’s I found my natural father who had left when I was 5 years old. I was quite the partier at the time. I drank a lot and I was always high. He introduced me to his sister. I guess I should say re-introduced me to her. She had around 10 years sober at the time. She told me about my Uncle and my grandmother dying of alcoholism. She was “planting the seed” in my head for when I was ready to get sober. Eventually I did.
Through her I meet my 3 cousins. Joey. Patrick and Kelly Ann. We got along great but didn’t see each other much but when we did there was a strong bond there. It’s amazing to be so much like a person that you never see. It has to be the genes. I stayed in and out of contact through the years. The male cousins were big partiers. A lot of drinking and drugging. I stopped and they kept going. In 2003 my cousin Patrick died of a drug overdose at the age of 36. Same as me. But for the grace of God there go I. It was hard on the family and tried to remain friends with the remaining cousins. Meanwhile I met Jo’s wife Nicole. She was tattooed and into punk and rockabilly like me. We shared our love for John Waters’ movies and horror. We hung out a lot. My cousin Joe didn’t like to go out much. She was also sober and he was on and off.
I was stuck for a place to live near the end of 2003 and the offered me a room for real cheap so I moved in with them and their 2 dogs and 2 cats. It was a small bedroom but it served my purposes. I still hung out with them at the house. Right before I moved in Nicole had a gastro-bypass surgery and there were complications. Something was wrong with her gall bladder. She started abusing her pain medications as well. Sometimes she was completely incoherent. I dealt with it and moved out in April 2004.
I pretty much lost touch with them after that and they also separated within that year. The last time I saw Nicole she came to visit me at the restaurant I was working at. She was with my dead cousin’s widow who was also known for doing a lot of drugs and partying. They didn’t look too healthy but I was happy to see them. That was at least a few years ago.
Today I joined my natural father for lunch with my aunt. She told us about Nicole’s death. My aunt wasn’t real clear about the exact nature of Nicole’s death. She said it had to do with her neglected gall bladder and her drug use. My cousin Joe isn’t going to go to the funeral. I kind of want to but I don’t think it would be appropriate. She was using her maiden name so I couldn’t find any information on her. I’m not even sure when it happened.
I guess I’m writing this as my way to say of saying goodbye to her. She was a friend and family after all. Rest in Peace Nicole.