A Happy Birthday and 'Throwback Thursday' story in one. Happy Birthday, Alex to what would have been your 41st. You were taken way too young, at the age of 31 back in September of 2004. I remember the summers in Rhode Island us hanging out and causing mayhem in the quiet village of Wickford in North Kingston, RI.

To bring context to the post, Alex my cousin was from Bowie, MD, I was from Halifax and our families would meet in the middle at my Great Uncle and Aunt's home in North Kingston, Rhode Island every summer for a couple of weeks when we were young. We still did the get together as adults but when all of our generation "familied up" ourselves it was hard to go for two weeks because of kids, jobs, and space in the house.

To Alex, you were the coolest cousin anyone could ever ask for. Riding around in your parent's old at like 16, 17 years old Caprice with the Van Halen or the hardcore rap like 2 Live Crew cranked up as all of the older people and tourists would stare as we drove by. Good times shooting pool at the yacht club betting quarters for the soda machine.

I remember in our mid to late teens smoking in the bathroom upstairs and your Aunt/my Mom busted us, after which she took the smokes and doused them water. I also remember when our parents were distracted with their adult talk we'd sneak and take a couple or maybe more out of the fridge and head to the dock.  We were bad but we had a lot of fun.

Most of all I miss the the more adult years as we got to know each other better. When we would talk about politics, family and the more important things in life.

Thinking about you Alex on your Birthday as I'm sure the rest of the family is as well. Happy Birthday and may you rest in peace.