Bicentennial Blog -

A little over 3 years ago a friend of mine started a blog - I was interested and asked a lot of questions about how it worked.  I decided to start my own right about that time and this friend was incredibly encouraging. 

Here we are and this is the 200 published blog .  Since Mother's Day is coming up I had planned on doing a blog about motherhood.  After all many of these blogs have been about the challenges and the tremendous satisfaction that I have found being a mother.  I am utterly amazed most days when I look at my sons and they are speeding toward adulthood - they really are fantastic people and I have changed so much since they have come into my life.  I have changed all for the better - I have learned a love that I could not imagine.  I thought also of motherhood because this blog is also my "baby".  I nurture it, I treat it with respect and I put it out into the world with pride and trepidation.  This blog is read worldwide, somehow, and I have gotten amazing feedback not only from friends but also from people around the world who wanted to say they enjoy having spent some time reading this.  I love writing and my book will eventually get written but until then this blog fills a huge need in me to write, write and write.

Instead of the motherhood blog circumstances I could not control changed the direction of this blog.  As I write this earlier Sunday I learned that after a long 7 weeks in hospitals, battling pain and deteriorating too quickly my cousin died.  I write this blog with a heavy, heavy heart.  Yet I felt I couldn't not write it.  I often will not say the things that I feel, or say fewer of them then are going through me, with the exception of a select group of friends and my boys of course.  I can write my feelings with so much more courage than I have to say them.    I do not have a large family, I am an only child but I have chosen the family I need and want and am close to.  They are not always blood relations, actually mostly not, but my cousin and her sister are the family that I choose.  She and her sister are my father's brother's children.  Our blood connection made us relatives, the wonderful people they both are made us friends.

My cousins are older then me - when I was young, like my kids ages or younger and they were in their teens this was a big deal.  To me it was a big deal because they were so cool and so not kids.  To them I probably was the ahh she's cute let's hope she's not too annoying younger cousin.  My earliest memory of my cousins is one of me at their house, I must have been around 5 or so, and they were listening to music.  I remember them getting into an argument and I found it all so exciting because when you are an only child you don't have those kind of arguments with your parents that you would with a sibling.

My next recollection of them is once they too came to the States after us.  They were even cooler than I remembered.  My cousin Roxana had this amazing ability to draw - just really talented.  They both dressed in the fashion of the times but with her lithe, long body and dark hair there was something so bohemian about her.  She always had a smile for me and never made me feel like anything less then the person she wanted to see every time we saw each other.  Their lives were different then mine, I was in grammar school to their high school - school dances to their night clubs --- playing spin the bottle to their serious relationships.  Yet she always lit up when I walked into a room and somehow that made me feel less young and more just part of something.

Through the years my cousins and I seemed to have bridged the age gap.  They were there for me when at 25 I found myself having to deal with the death of my father.  They were there for me when I was just learning how to navigate apartments by myself with gifts to make my apartment slightly more chic then I would have.  As I decided to move to California they never told me that I was wasting my time but instead told me I would be great and should go for it while I could.  I could count on them and we had some ridiculous moments at our many dinners in restaurants they took me to - exposing me to a city that maybe I had not yet learned to appreciate.

I remember my cousin for her strength - she never shied away from speaking her mind - nor did she ever question my decisions, she just went with them.  I remember sitting in a restaurant and we were being loud and inappropriate, thinking since we were speaking Romanian we were "safe", and when our waiter commented that he was Romanian while her sister and I blushed she boldly asked him where in Romania he was from. She was herself and I admired her for it.

She married a man who became my male cousin to this little group.  I was so glad always to be in their presence because you read about that kind of love but do not often see it.  The kind where they still swapped a kiss every so often when out, the kind where they lit up looking at each other like every moment was a first date.  She deserved that kind of love as did he - and they nurtured it every moment.

As my mother asked to have my sons baptized, as a non-believer I did this just for her, there was no hesitation who I would ask to be the godmothers to my kids.  After all that toughest of things to do as a parent is to put down who would take care of them should you be gone  - my cousins came to mind immediately.  She, her sister and Alex have been the best godparents my boys could have ever dreamed of, not missing a birthday and loving them unconditionally.  She called them her princes. They just adore them all - and miss her already. 

So this blog is a dedication to life - to rebellion - to speaking your mind.  My cousin was among the first to read my blog, faithfully.  I sent it to her and she always encouraged me to keep at it - told me how proud she was.  This blog is a connection that shows that we all love, hurt, cry and laugh.

As I write the 200th blog and get closer to 10,000 reads I want to thank so many people who read this, contribute to this directly or indirectly, and dedicate to the memory of my cousin Roxana.  I told my cousin often that I loved her, I try and do this with those I love because life is unpredictable and love, laughter is the best connection we can have with one another.  She lived life on her terms -- I urge you all to do the same.


  1. Well done as always Juliana - a beautiful tribute to Roxana. I'm keeping you in my thoughts at this sad and difficult time.

  2. You too live life on your own terms, say what you mean and are there for others in encouraging ways. You are a continuation of the fabric of the blood connection and friendship relationship you and your cousin shared.


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