This is the way I’ll remember my cousin, Greg Wilson – I’ll always love him for who he was and all the fun times we had with our family. I’ll miss him!

Greg and I – 2015
Greg and my dad

When I hear every John Prine song, every Styx song, every Grateful Dead, every Doors, every Maui Pranksters song, etc. etc. I will think of Greg.

Greg at my mom’s memorial service Aug 2017

When I see and wear Tie Dye shirts, and go to music festivals, I will think of Greg. Funny story (not so funny at the time), was years ago when Greg and I couldn’t find each other at Bonnaroo (Tennessee’s version of Woodstock)! More about that in a moment…

Early picture of Greg with his mom, dad, and older sister, Teresa

When I see little ones together, especially family close in age, I’ll think of Greg. Here we are at our grandparents’ home for Christmas. I think it was our second Christmas:

Greg and Sheila Christmas ’63

When we were young, Greg would chase me around and pick on me. That’s just a kid thing. Especially for boys who were about the same age as the girls; and boys love to tease girls about crickets, crawdad’s, frogs, and stuff like that. You can probably see the orneriness of Greg in this pic:

Greg and Sheila mid-1960s

We had a great time though. Especially every Thanksgiving and Christmas, and many summers–though we didn’t go camping together very often. Greg’s mom and dad (my aunt and uncle) enjoyed camping a lot more than my parents did. So, I got to go more often with my aunt and uncle and Greg’s family, even than with my parents. And I am sure those experiences stuck with me when it came time (many, many years later) to live Off Grid.

Greg with his new gun and me (In those days you didn’t know you had a good pic til it was developed.)

Then there were the motorcycle years.

Greg and his Harley Sportster

I’ll never forget how happy Greg was to buy his first Harley, Sportster! My dad and I had taken a quick trip up from Florida and I got to see Greg when we stopped at my aunts house for a visit. My dad had several motorcycles over the course of my teenage years and later my son would get quite involved with cycles too. So, yeah, Greg and I had shared history with bikes.

Greg and I – late 80s (I cropped someone out of the pic)

When I see a guy on a Harley, wearing a headband and tie dye, I’ll think of my cuz.

Now, back to Bonnaroo: Greg and I knew each other were there (it was the 2nd year of that music festival) and they didn’t have enough cell towers to provide service to the THOUSANDS of people in attendance. Greg would send me a message and I wouldn’t receive it on my phone for 5 hours! And I would message back, same situation would occur. We couldn’t get over how huge that festival was! (And to think, it’s still going on strong!)

I’ll remember Greg’s laugh, his dimples, and his huge heart for giving and helping others. A kinder guy you’d never meet!

I’ll remember the time Greg called me while I was at work and I went outside in the parking garage to talk with him. (I live near that building now, and drive by it often.) Oh, sooo many things will remind me of Greg. Crystals, Fenton, camping, and family dinners.

More memories:

After Greg’s dad passed away (my uncle), I took a trip up to WV and wanted to go to my uncle’s grave site. Greg took me (and my then husband—who was actually jealous of Greg), to spend a few minutes at my uncles grave. (I couldn’t believe my ex was jealous of my cousin—WOW! And yes, his controlling was one reason I left him)!

Greg and I shared a wonderful few moments together at his dad’s grave site and Greg told me about his dad’s funeral (which, I’d missed the year before). Greg is now laid to rest in the same cemetery. (I’ll be sure to go on my next trip to my home state).

When we had my mom’s memorial service a few years ago, Greg held my hand through most of it. I will always remember that and his laugh, and his voice. His heart was so giving too! And as I sit and listen to favorite songs, so many memories come flooding back. He was the closest human being I had in my life to having a brother.

Greg and his wife, Susan, picked me up at the hotel and took me to church with them (where our uncle is pastor). I am sooo glad we shared that experience and sang some hymns together. It reminded me of the years we used to sing in church with our mothers and grandmother. Unfortunately, that visit in 2017 would be the last time I saw Greg in person.

Greg, his brother Josh, and me – Aug 2017 at Greg and Susan’s house

Our mothers were sisters and we were 6 months apart in age. Greg was younger. I never thought I’d be writing this or posting a memorial for Greg. It doesn’t seem right. But I send love and hugs to our family who are still with us. And I blow a kiss to Greg in the Grand Beyond and believe we’ll all see each other again one day.

I am so grateful Greg and I had one last talk about a month before he transitioned to the Other Side. Rest peacefully, and/or in JOY the party gratefully, cuz. Til we meet again.

Amen. Namaste. OM

14 thoughts on “In memory of my big-hearted, first cousin, Greg Wilson

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