I woke up this morning remembering the large family reunions my mom's family used to have. We'd rent out all the cabins in a cave-riddled state park in Indiana (my mom's family is HUGE - I am the oldest of around 40 first cousins) and go spelunking and playing capture the flag together. We'd swim in a river, right below the waterfall. We'd try to be really quiet in the morning to see if we could avoid startling all the deer.
My cousin Jeremiah was my closest male cousin. He was closest to me in age, and we just clicked - every time we got together for a reunion we'd hit it off all over again.
I just learned that Jeremiah was killed in Iraq
(next of kin have been notified, obviously, since this article was published). He was not a soldier, he was a teacher. A missionary teacher at a Christian school. Pictures on his Facebook page show him in dishdasha and kaffiyeh. Apparently he was killed by one of his students, who then shot himself. God only knows why.