The picture above was taken around 1995. From right to left we are … Becky, Shelley (with son Josh) McKenzie, Mikellah, and me. Since this picture was taken, all of the girls have children of their own and Shelley has added two more sons to her brood of three boys. Sadly, and it makes me tear up to write this, my cousin Becky, the mother of these three darling young women died suddenly last year of a heart attack.
I’m up early getting ready for my drive up to the North Georgia Mountains where I’ll reunite with my cousins at the One-Shot cabin. Since the cabin is up for sale, it will probably be the last time I’ll have a chance to be in the space that has such personal meaning and memories for each of us.
I’ve been looking forward to this reunion for quite some time. It has been years since I’ve seen the girls and I’ve not had a chance to meet their children yet with the exception of Josh. Life gets in the way of families getting together sometimes and you always think there will be more time. Maybe next year we tell ourselves and the years just pass us by. The last time I spoke with Becky I remember exactly where I was sitting and what we said. We both thought at our age that we had all the time in the world. Her early death last year reinforced how we may not always get another chance.
While I’m home for the Thanksgiving holiday with my family and friends, I’m taking time this time, to see Becky’s girls and grandchildren making good on that promise I made a few years ago to get up to the cabin again.
Even though the two women I associate most with the One-Shot cabin will be missing in body today, I feel sure that the echo of their distinctive voices will somehow be present. Both my great aunt Wylly, who named the cabin and infused it with her energy and her grandaughter, my cousin Becky, who raised her family there and called it home had the kind of voice you would never forget. I don’t even have to close my eyes to hear them now. I have a feeling I’ll be hearing them again today. Whether it’s a whisper of the past calling out from a corner of the cabin, or in the voices and expressions of Shelley, Mikellah and McKenzie, I think I’ll have that moment together with them all, for one last time at the One-Shot cabin.
Rebecca Anne St. John & Wylly Folk St. John
July 4, 1972