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26 Hour Drive

Tragic news always comes unexpectedly!

I got a call early Sunday morning (Sept 27th) from my cousin Dirk telling me that his sister Gail’s son died the night before.  Of course, I was in shock from hearing the news.  How can one take pain away from a loved one?

Well Dirk wanted me to contact my family and let them know.  So I made those calls breaking the sad news to my siblings, etc.

In my heart, I felt I needed to do everything I could to go and support Gail and her family.  Of course, it was so far away, and my situation isn’t such that I could easily go.  But miracles happen,  thank goodness!

My cousins (Gail’s brothers) planned to drive out, and so I asked if I could go and be another driver.  It so happened that it worked out for them as well, because they needed an extra driver (or so they said).

So we left from Cody Wyoming Thursday (Oct 1st) after work 5:30PM and drove straight through to Ann Arbor Michigan.  We ended up taking two cars with 8 people.  My sister even joined us.

We all took turns driving and the others sleeping where they could, stopping only for gas and using that stop for a break, snacks, trading drivers, etc.

One family member was bound and determined to see Chicago, and we certainly did.  Block after block after block, for nearly two hours.  Thank goodness for GPS to get us through that mess.  We took that detour because the freeway was backed up.  (or says this cousin…heee hee).

We arrived in Ann Arbor at about 3:30AM Saturday morning and crashed.  Got up at about 8:00AM and got ready for the day.   We met the other family members, including my brother Doug, who drove up from GA.  Spent a couple hours at Gail’s house, then took off to the funeral home.

Gail asked me to take pictures for her.  So I did.  The memorial service was nice.  I learned so much more about my cousin’s son that I didn’t know.  As I listened, I could identify so many of the Cozzens characteristics. I felt a sadness that I didn’t know him better.

Then we enjoyed a wonderful meal for the family.  We captured more pictures.  We captured those all- important Family pictures.

Then we began our long drive home at about 6:00PM.  This time only one car was leaving because Dirks family decided to stay a bit longer.  So we drove straight home with very little stops along the way.  Traded around all four of us so we were able to drive around the clock.

We got home Sunday (Oct 4th) just in time for my son’s family birthday party around 6:00PM.  His girlfriend and sister made the cake.

In summary, I’m grateful I was able to go to give love and support to my cousin Gail and her family.

My cousin Gail’s daughter wrote this tribute to her brother.  You can read it here.

Obituary Online

Obituary Notice

Note:  Gail’s family and mine grew up very close, close enough to be like siblings.  Gail was close to my age and we were like sisters as we grew up.

I3_3167_10032009CCSS_500This is my cousin’s family picture.

I3_3207_10032009_CCSS_500This is Gail and myself.

I3_3216_10032009_CCSS_500This is a picture of my sister Melinda, brother Doug, cousin Gail, and myself.

I3_3117_10032009_CCSS_500Some of Gail’s Neices.

I3_3173_10032009_CCSS_500Gail with Miles (husband) and all her siblings.