This week I traveled to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan to attend the burial services for my mummu, who passed away this past February. All of her children were there as well as many grandchildren. It was quite a gathering. The last time the family all gathered was 20 years ago. While there, I met my eldest aunt and her children, whom I had never met before. If you remember from a previous post, the family is scattered throughout the United States and get-togethers were difficult and rarely coordinated. Let me tell you, it was a wonder to be together again! At meals and for visiting, we would cluster together and the stories would fly, and laughter was abundant, and our jaws ached from the smiling and laughing. What a remarkable family we are. Every which direction you turned, there was a conversation to hop into, a smiling, welcoming face, the same sharp witted humor in each of us. The air buzzed with our energy. It was very nearly a palpable thing. Not all of the grandchildren were able to attend, and I believe if we all had, that the family energy would have been visible from space! (captured on satellite: the Great Wall of China, The Las Vegas Strip and the J++++ family gathering).
Not everyone "gets" or appreciates my sense of humor, so it was remarkable to be in a room where not only did everyone "get" me, but everyone had and expressed the same sense of humor. It was an amazing few days being with my family. I was very nearly high at the experience of love and belonging and connectedness.
I am known for my sense of humor and goofy nature, my quick wit, my devil-may-care attitude, my easy-going, fun-loving spirit. A few years ago, a colleague of mine met my parents and after spending time with my father and me she commented that "the apple didn't fall too far from the tree". Ladies and gentlemen: I spent the week swinging in the apple tree!
The picture below is of the siblings, less their parents, from the picture opening this post.
A fine looking clan, don't you agree?
I vow to not wait another 20 years to connect with family. Even if mummu's longevity is passed on to all, it is too long to wait to be together; to be in touch. Phone numbers, email and residence addresses were shared, and I plan to use them. So if you are family, and if you are reading this, consider yourself warned!