Growing up, I always remembered my family being there for me. They would always be over at my house and it would be really fun being with them. Specifically, I remember my cousin being there. He and his brother would play with me all the time, from when I woke up until when I went to sleep. I don’t feel comfortable saying their names or anything about them.

As I got older, I started to realize that my cousin had stopped coming around, I seen him a lot less. I remember asking my dad where he was and he would reply with “I don’t know.” Always having my older cousins there with me is something I’ll never forget. Then, they just stopped being there is also something I’ll never forget. I missed him coming around because not only was that my cousin but also like a friend. I got older and asked my dad where’s my cousin and he told me what actually happened. Keep in mind I was only around the age of 9 and having to be explained that my cousin was going to be in jail for the next 20 years in the state penitentiary. I didn’t really understand what had happened, but I realized that I wouldn’t see him for a really long time. My dad said he’ll be much older, almost an old man when he gets out, so that made it sound as if he’ll be gone forever. My dad said I might even have kids when he gets out.

Soon after my other cousin who is his brother moved all the way to Florida. I asked my dad how he is doing and they write letters all the time he says. My cousin said it wasn’t that bad in there. He said he has his own room and own kitchen with a stove and everything. He can even go play basketball whenever he wants. So he is doing good it sounds like. My dad told me that he will get out in 6 years because of good behavior. So six years is better than 15.

As a little kid, I never understood how or why they took my cousin away. I remember him coming over every weekend and spending the night. When I woke up I’d go to my cousin and he’d make me breakfast or something. He grew up with my dad along with his brother. They were really close and were good friends. They grew up in Chicago with a harsh lifestyle. So I know that had to be hard for my dad to deal with his cousin going away.

I just feel like I’d be a different person if I still had my cousin here. I feel as if he’d be someone I can talk to or go to for help. It’s sad that I couldn’t make sense of it and had to have my dad tell me. He’s still never told me the whole story but I find out more and more. I missed my cousin but always felt like he’d be back. Right now I feel a different way. It’s been years since I have seen him, so I can’t be so upset about it because I know when he gets out we’re gonna have a big party and celebrate with him.

My cousin going away is a reason why his brother (my cousin) moved away to Florida. It was devastating for his mother, for his kids, his wife, his family, and his friends. I remember him being really funny and trustworthy. If anything happened to my dad, my cousin or his brother would be two people I know I can rely on to help me and my mom. I have no brothers or sisters so I worry if anything happens to me then who will take care of them. Who will help me take care of them? Who will help take care of my cousins kids? My cousin going away sort of moved his side of the family away.