Tuesday, 3 November 2009

Our cowgirl cousin, Maya

Until 1975 Tom and I were the only grandchildren: me first, Tom, two years after and then four years of being the only next generation of my Mum's family. Then cousin Maya arrived. We are the senior grandchildren and very important with it.

Our massively loved and very important, fiercely matriarchal, stylish, wise and witty Granny died a couple of weeks ago. We belted out some cracking hymns at her funeral and felt a funny mixture of sadness and loss yet happy we've got this big jumbly diverse family thanks to her. We're not like the Waltons, and we don't hug each other a lot - don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to make you gag. No one ever says I love you, ever.  But we sat in the church and felt a sense of happy unity and identity. The sardonic and dry family humour was fully in effect.

Cousin Maya was not there, in body anyway. She was going to fly over but the generation above us heard Granny saying, sternly, "Don't you dare, what a waste of money."

Maya lives in California and works with Monty Roberts, the Horse Whisperer. Maya is a legend within the family for all this. I try not to brag.

But she is flying up to Vegas for the first stop on our Metallica roadtrip, there's the national rodeo championships the same weekend they're playing. As a family Fragile X is something we all have to deal with and she said she wanted to come, to support us, and to help us get the F-X message across, Cowboy Styleeee.

Tom is a big big fan of the stetson and cowboy boot. Going to a rodeo will be extremely testing for Tom, but we may tempt him with a new pair of cowboys boots and a massive ten gallon hat.

Then again we may not. Tom does what he wants, which is why this trip is one big exercise in jeopardy and chaos.

Whatever happens, it will be great to share some F-X thoughts with Maya and have an awkward family hug. Awkward British hugs are just as good as big American 'I love you man' ones.

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