This past weekend was spent with my Dad's family-his siblings-so, my aunts, uncles, cousins, and their significant others including the previously mentioned Aunt Traci, my Dad's youngest sister, and the impetus for our get-togethers. Traci has taught and continues to teach us about the importance of living in the moment, and loving every day. Traci has stage 4 pancreatic cancer and is now approximately 8 mos.-a year + past her expected expiration date. (To those of you that may think that heartless, negative, or extreme: when you have been faced with your own mortality it is often quite normal to grab it by the reigns and talk that sucker into the ground.) I am now 4+ years past my own brush with death, and not even a year since my Dad's. Skirting the edges of our earthly life MOST DEFINITELY puts the important bits front and center in your awareness of your surroundings.
As many of us who could came together this past weekend and we really just had a blast. Went to old haunts, danced like nuts in public, and just genuinely enjoyed each other's company. It was way too much fun and I wish we could do it all the time.
I love being with my family, especially those I don't get to see often (but seriously the rest of you are NOT chopped liver), and this time was pretty cool because I got to meet the significant other of one of my cousins. My cousin Alex is genuinely one of the most awesome people I know and I am tremendously happy that she is with someone who truly loves her. Al has been a pretty cool person since she was quite small and one of the better parts of life has been getting to know her as an adult. She's more astute than many more experienced or older people I know, putting into focus the stuff we all should be paying attention to and letting the rest roll on by. At some point I will FINALLY post the pics we took of her last year, which may only be funny to the two of us, except we don't care because it was funny to us.
In case I haven't said it before my parents really rock and we had a great time with them, I want to be Aunt Terri when I grow up, and I love that my husband and my Uncle George are totally on the same wavelength-and we could all gain some I.Q. points just listening to them talk. Wish my cousins Aaron, Jamie, and Andy could've been there BUT life happens.
The picture at the top of this bit of wordiness is of my Dad, also known as Tom, Tommy T, and a few other names (including some I probably don't know) and his dog Pete. Petey is one of the coolest dogs ever and is pretty much people. In the pic above he is forced to stay in the backseat with the womenfolk and demonstrates his need to be in the front with the men by leaning over the backseat and eventually resting his head on my Dad's shoulder. This dog is hilarious and that's one of the few reasons why.
That's a bit of my family, and praise to God that I have so many more people who fit in the category.