Saturday, October 25, 2008

Finding Family

I have many Aunts, Uncles and cousins on both sides of my family, but rarely get to see most of them. Typically we are like most families: when someone dies we see everyone at the wake or funeral. My Father's side of the family is not as close as my Mother's side of the family. I only have 1 Aunt left on my Mom's side; her 2 oldest sisters and only brother have passed away, but we don't even get to see their families because they are spread around the country. My Aunt that is living lives in the same city I grew up in, and we get together at Christmas every year. I do see those cousins more often than any other family now. When I was younger, Mom's family used to have an annual BBQ and we used to sing songs and have a great time together. Those memories are among my fondest of my Mom's family.

Like I said, my Dad's family is not as close. For some strange reason, my Dad and his 2 brothers (who all lived in the same city until 3 years ago when the youngest moved across the country) were never that close. His only sister moved away 40 years ago and they've only been to visit a handful of times. Until a couple of years ago, I barely even knew that her family existed - an entire family full of first cousins I had never met. At least with my Mom's family I had MET my entire clan of cousins!

After my Dad had gone to Arizona to visit his sister for her 70th birthday, he gave me an email address for one of her sons, my first cousin whom I had never met. So, I sent him a "Hi, My Name Is" message and we started getting to know each other through email. It turned out that I was going to a conference in his hometown that coming June, at his own Church! So we met for the first time at the Church and I even went out to dinner with him and his sister (whom I had met briefly when I was young). On the next 2 return trips to the yearly conference, we met up again and it was so great to get to know this family who I had never known. They even got their entire extended family together for a BBQ in my honor. It almost made me sad, that I was robbed of the years that I could have known this part of my immediate family.

About 5 years ago, my cousin talked his youngest brother (who wasn't even born until after they had moved away from this area) into tagging along on a visit that their Mom was making to see our family. We happened to have a graduation party scheduled that same weekend so we incorporated their visit into the party and it was like a mini-reunion. I know my Aunt has found great pleasure in knowing that her kids and her extended family from "back home" have come to know each other.

In keeping with my theme of reuniting family that I never knew, I was on FaceBook (my latest and greatest addiction!) and found a man with the same last name as my family name, so I sent him an email through Facebook, asking him if he was related. Gutsy, I know! But he responded quickly and it turned out he IS related - he is my Father's first cousin! My Grandfather and his Father were brothers. It's funny, because he is the same age as my sisters, and has a couple of brothers and a sister. My Dad and his Uncle were having children at the same time! So, here we are again, back in that "getting to know you" stage with family I should have already known. I am hoping to arrange some sort of family reunion of ALL portions of my Dad's family eventually.

And then, there are those family members you wish you'd never met.....but that's a WHOLE other post.

Have a great weekend,

Sunday, October 19, 2008

But I'm NOT Bitter. Really!

So every year, Hubby goes on a "guys trip" with my brother and his friend. They've gone to all different places: Florida, Vegas, Florida, Arizona, Florida...see the pattern? Their denial that they just want to go to Disney World without their children manifests itself with the statement "But we go with them, too....". My husband has even been known to mutter "Disney is no place for kids." This makes me laugh every time I am in Disney World and see parents of miserable children trying to assuage their overtired, spoiled kids with a Mickey Mouse shaped iced cream...OH WAIT, that was ME. Last year! And the year before that, and the year before that!!! Just was a bag of popcorn...

But seriously, all kidding aside, I don't really care where Hubby and my brother and their friend go on their trip. I think it's great that they get a chance to get away and just be, well, guys. I think it helps them appreciate what they have at home a little more. This morning Hubby called to say hi and said he was ready to come home. I asked if it was because he was sick of my brother and his friend. His reply was "No, I just miss you and Pal." It was nice to hear that.

Although I have enjoyed my weekend too, I missed having our family unit together. Pal and I went out with my mother-in-law on Friday night, and on Saturday my brother's wife (a.k.a. My Fave Sis-in-law, D!) and I took our 3 kids to the movies and out to lunch - here they are at the restaurant:

After the movies, we were on the way home and Pal asked if he could have his Best Buddy over for a sleepover. I waivered between wanting to have a quiet night alone, and giving in to Pal because he's an only child and I have guilt for that (I lied down until that feeling went away again!!) So in true Mom fashion, the guilt won and we picked up Best Buddy on our way home. This was both Pal and Best Buddy's FIRST EVER "friend" sleepover! It went very well, they went to sleep about 10:45 and slept until 7:30 this morning. Can't complain for a first time deal!! Today Pal's Cub Scout group went to the Harvard Museum of Natural History for their geology requirement. Our requirement was getting in for free before 12 p.m.!! And lunch in Harvard Square of course.

So it was a crazy busy weekend, and the main thing I missed was having Hubby on laundry-duty!!! But now it's Sunday night and the laundry is almost done, Pal has taken a shower, the Red Sox are about to play Game 7 of the ALCS, Hubby comes home tomorrow and I am sitting in my recliner blogging for the first time in a week. Life is good.

Before I sign off, I'd like to ask that you keep Hubby's Nana in your prayers - she's 90 and was just admitted to the ICU. After losing Mrs. D last week I'm not sure Hubby will handle this news too well...thanks for your thoughts and prayers.

Have a great week!


Monday, October 13, 2008

Happy Birthday, Hubby!

Today is Hubby's 38th birthday. I tease him because he is 3 months older than me, and I won't be 38 until it is already 2009. I love to rub that in.

Hubby and I have known each other since approximately 1983/84. Our mutual friend, T, (who is also the son of Mrs. D who I have been writing about) went to school with Hubby, but lived near me. Hubby would come over to T's house after school and we would all hang out together. Of course when you are 13 you have NO clue that you just met the man you will someday marry, but one thing I did know for sure back then was that I really, really liked who Hubby was (and still is). If it weren't for Hubby's knack for keeping in touch with people, we probably would have lost touch during those years that we weren't hanging out. But every so often I would get a phone call from him, just to say hi, or a visit to where I worked. But it was a terrible accident that brought us together once and for all, and that was when our mutual friend, T, who is now our brother-in-law because he married Hubby's sister, D, (I know, it's get really confusing and almost seems incestuous!), got hurt in a floor hockey scuffle. T was pushed to the floor of the hockey rink and the bones in his forehead were broken. He was hospitalized and needed surgery to repair the broken bones. It was during our visits to T that Hubby and I reconnected. At first we were just friends and enjoyed hanging out together again. But then it bloomed into love and there was nothing better than marrying your best friend. We will be married 13 years this coming December.

But more about Hubby - I meant what I said above about liking who he is. We can still laugh and have a good time. He makes me laugh with his goofy nature even though I tell him he's a dork/freak/fruitcake. He's a great Dad to Pal, even though I'm not sure Pal appreciates him just yet. But what kid does, right?

Hubby is a terrific husband, friend, brother, son, son-in-law, co-worker, boss, teacher, Scout, electrician, Christian, citizen, American. All around he is just a nice guy. He likes to think that he's tough and sometimes comes off as shy or cold. The man I love is nothing but a mushy teddy bear inside.

Happy Birthday, Hubby, I love you with all my heart. Love, GM

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

'Til we meet again, Mrs. D.

My post in September titled "A privilege we don't often get" was about the opportunity to say goodbye to someone before they die. I got that privilege when Mrs. D's family held a "Celebration of Life" party while she was still capable of receiving visitors, and it was such a nice thing that she got to enjoy her own "wake" of sorts. Tonight, Mrs. D lost her battle with cancer.

I am so sad, more so because my nephews, her two youngest Grandsons, probably won't remember her too well....they are only 3 and 4. I was one of those kids who grew up without Grandparents and I know what I missed. Mrs. D loved her family, and her Grandkids were definitely her pride and joy. Her whole house is decorated with picture after picture of all 5 of them. She also loved her God, and now is resting comfortably in His arms. I'm sure of it.

The next few days are sure to be filled with a lot of emotions, so please keep Mrs. D and all that loved her in your thoughts and prayers.


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Brooke Shields is an idiot. Period.

This morning I was driving to work and had the radio on. There was a commercial that starts with Brooke Shields saying "Our nation is facing a serious crisis." My ears perked up, thinking she was going to address one of the MANY serious crisis' facing our nation. No. Her next statement was something like, "People are having babies so they can drive the new Volkswagon Routan."

Seriously, can someone slap her?

With all the serious situations going on in our country, i.e. the stock market, the crappy choices for President, global warming, people really having babies when they shouldn't, etc. etc. etc....Brooke Shields chose to be a spokesperson for a new minivan???? She needs a hobby. Or a job. She is an idiot.

Enough ranting for today.