But I will see you again, a long time from now

Everybody's family is constructed differently. Mine, I believe, just happens to be constructed a lot more bizarre than most others. I could sit down and try to explain to you how the many relatives I have are only semi-related to me, but it would take days to completely understand. I mean, here I am at 18 years of age and I still don't quite understand all the relationships in my family. But the one thing that intrigues me is the thought of my dead relatives. Morbid, I know. And plus that's a lot of dead relatives in the line of Nicole Hopkinson. However, there are 3 particular people who have been long gone and who have joined the cheering section for us with the big man upstairs that I think about quite often. I think about making them proud.

Grandpa Dick
Aunt Cindy
Uncle Ricky

Uncle Ricky was my dad's older brother and died from SIDS. He was my grandparent's first child and I can't imagine having to deal with losing your firstborn child at such a young age. We talk about him often, but no one knows much about him obviously since he was just a couple months old. Sometimes when we visit his grave, I imagine him and make up a life for him today if he was still alive; He would have a wife whose name started with an 'S' to carry the family tradition - Sarah or perhaps Samantha. They'd have kids about the same age as my family and we'd probably be best friends. Uncle Ricky would be the greatest uncle in the world. I know that because he was taken so early, he must be a strong spirit up in Heaven. He'd probably have some cool, fancy job that made him travel the country so that our family wasn't always the one family left out of the constant Provo Hopkinson clan. He'd be the uncle that every girl needs. And let's get real, I'd probably be his favorite niece. 

Aunt Cindy was my mom's younger and only sister who died from a brain aneurysm in her early twenties. She had a one year old daughter at the time of her death who was just 2 months older than me - my cousin who is my aunt Cindy's only child. The aneurysm was unexpected and sometimes I forget that my mom ever had a sister because I was so young when it happened that I don't have memories of Cindy. I've seen pictures and home videos and I've realized that I look almost exactly like her as I continue to grow older. I wonder if my mom ever looks at me and imagines her sister in my place. Sometimes I feel like that's why my mom and I have such a good relationship, because she's the sister I never had, and I'm the sister she lost. I'm excited to be reunited and officially meet her, but I'm more excited for my cousin Aubrey to meet her mom. And then we can all be a happy family together - a family of Anthony women, which is the way it should be.

Grandpa Dick was my Dad's father and died of colon cancer four months after my parents got married. My grandma has been single ever since and that's the only life I've ever known. Just like Uncle Ricky, I don't know him; I don't know his personality, his quirks, what makes him tick...I don't know anything about my own grandpa unless I was told about it through a story. So most of what I know about him, I've probably made it up in my head. But sometimes I yearn to have memories of him. I feel like he would be that tough grandpa that would do anything for his grandchildren. He would probably give the best, no-nonsense advice. I can feel it. And I feel that when the time comes that we will all be reunited again, I will run into my grandpa's arms like we'd never been parted. We'll have so much catching up to do. I know his spirit is there.

And this is why the Plan of Salvation is true.
So that people like me can think about their dead relatives.
Welcome to my life.

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