Our two 3-year-old granddaughters were spending the weekend with my wife and I. They are first cousins and act like sisters.

It is extremely difficult for them to be not playing together, but they must bump egos because they are both strong personalities. It is refreshingly cool to see them navigate a discussion. Someone else might call it an argument, but to grandparents it is just learning how to get along and get your way.

There are cases at a young age when we discover if we are leaders or followers. That may change with age. If it's two strong personalities, there will be sparks in the air. Someone has to guide the youth's learning process of how to get along. If only it was that easy for adults to be guided in the learning process of getting along.

Between my wife and I, we have three fabulous aunts that are very much like matriarchs of our respective families. The paternal great aunt for our daughters is in her 90s. The other two surviving maternal great aunts are close to their 80s.

Sometimes we overlook the wisdom and knowledge that they have earned and compiled by sheer living and being survivors. We can all learn when we make time to visit our elders. It's great to value their love and caring wisdom.

I got to know a second cousin at one of these visits. We listened to his stories of his close friends that he has made in the big city. Speaking his words, he shared his strong emotional attachment that can only come from the heart. He is a young happy single man who has a good job in San Antonio. He visits his family two to three times a month.

He told us about one of his good friends from California, a 25-year-old African-American who celebrated life with a passion. His friend went home to visit and did not return due to a fatal accident.

The reality of how brief our short stay on Earth is is very frightening. We do not know when our time will come, and frankly I believe that we don't want to know the details.

It was enlightening to learn that our young cousin has his feet solidly on the ground. He truly cares about his friends and loves to visit his family.

The big city is great and all that; however, city folks have no idea what they are missing in the small towns with the slower pace, with time to smell the roses.

It is interesting to note though that in the big city there is a new type of family that is nurtured or created. It is the one of individuals with similar jobs, interests, hobbies or ideals. These young citizens help each other at work, or provide transportation to their jobs or eat out together or spend some leisure time together.

They are usually not related by family or race. They are related by human kind. I learned that from my young cousin.

Joe-Santos Medina is a resident of Robstown. Readers may contact him via email at joesantosm@hotmail.com.