Back in August, I posted
about my mother's side of the family and our tradition of getting together on the first weekend of August every year for our family reunion.
Of course, being family, we do get together for other reasons as well. One thing I've learned over the years--when the chips are down, I can count on my family to be there. I've seen them turn out in force for funerals to support one another during times of crisis. We've supported each other through the years in all types of life situations--from births to deaths and everything in between. I can honestly say I'd have never stayed sane the past couple of years were it not for my family (and some very close friends out there who are family as well). I am sometimes just amazed at how strong and close my family.
This past weekend, the family got together for a big celebration. One of the cousins from my generation, Kara, got married. Actually, she's been married since November when she and her husband Adam decided to elope while in Hawaii. But, they decided to have a Catholic wedding ceremony and a reception for the family to attend this weekend.
As usual, family turned out in full force, ready to celebrate, catch up and have a good time. Oh yeah--and eat. If there is one thing my family knows how to do well, it's eat. (Of course, the flip side of that is--just about everyone in the family is a GREAT cook, so it's not like eating is really all that hard to do or so terrible a thing!) And eat we did. We had dinner Saturday night, a big ol lunch Sunday. As my cousin Randy kept saying, "This is my last big meal this weekend."
I swear, I am going to have to swim an extra mile each day this week to work off the calories. But darn, it was all good. And that doesn't even cover the food at the reception...
We had several family members stay down with us in Smyrna and it was a pleasure to catch-up with them, rib each other a bit about various sports rivallries (my cousins Randy and Jenny were on opposite sides of the big Yankees/Red Sox series). I heard the latest stories of cousins who couldn't make it--including the my favorite cousin Pam has a serious enough boyfriend to bring to the reunion this August. (You only bring a significant other to the reunion if you're planning on marrying them). Jenny, her sister, asked Ben, Randy and I to do the big brother thing and make sure he passed inspection. I said he should bring his last three year's tax returns and list of charitable contributions so we can make sure he can support Pam when and if they start a family.
Our generation--we're the third generation--was proud that we had the largest showing of the family at the wedding. We had 20 of the 32 members there (there were 34 but we lost two to cystic fibrosis). It's also kind of bittersweet to see the members of the first generation slowly dwindle down. But it's great that we can get together each year and share memories of them.
Of course, having all of us together, we had to get a picture. Now, you'd think it's be easy to do, but getting 20 people together for a picture ranging in age from one to the early 40s and looking all the right direction at the same time...honestly, it's a bit like herding cats.
Just some of my "generation" of cousins.
We had a good time. Shoot, they even played YMCA which I danced to--sorry, no pictures of that. Also, Jenny and I helped Gracelyn and some other cousins to dance out on the floor to "Staying Alive." It's sad when your three-year old niece has more rhythm than you ever weel, though she did enjoy spinning around.
The only regret I had was that after the wedding and reception, some family gathered at Susan's just to hang out. I had to cut out early as I had to work today. (Don't ask, I'm still pretty miffed about it). I am also a bit annoyed since while working I'm missing a family BBQ at my parent's house and another chance to just catch up with family and enjoy their company.
But, I just keep reminding myself that I will get to see them all again in August. I have to say that I'm looking forward to it.
posted by Michael Hickerson at 5/30/2005 02:30:00 PM