When we were little, my mother's sisters, their husbands and children, lived very close to us. Later, they both moved away taking their families with them, but for the first ten or so years of our life, my sister and I always had our cousins around. There were ten of us altogether, eight of us really close...now one has left our happy family circle for good.
Tjop, as we called him, was more of a younger brother than a cousin. He and I got along very well; we shared a love of learning, of history and archaeology, and music -- it was Tjop who taught me how to play the guitar (well, only the one song actually, Deep Purple's Smoke On The Water). We didn't see each other all that often, but we kept in touch through the occasional postcard and phone call...Only a few weeks ago, Mum ran into him, and later related that he had expressed his regret that he hadn't seen more of us lately. I instantly resolved to call him up and make plans for a reunion...then I got caught up in the dailies and never made that call.
I wish I'd made that call. At least, I could have spoken with him one last time. I could have told him I loved him...though I probably wouldn't have. It was understood, though...or so I believe.