Growing up, my family was small—Mom, Dad and Sister at the core. Our extended family ties were more like loose threads, connected only on holidays and special occasions but I remember those occasions as if they were yesterday. My grandparents, aunt,uncle and all the cousins in my parents’ back yard…
This year, after more than forty years, all my cousins reunited in my back yard. Faces have changed with a few wrinkles that hadn’t even begun to erupt at our last meeting. But, when our eyes met, I saw the teens and young adults I remembered so vividly from a time long ago.
I can’t remember a day in 2016 that touched me more than that day on my back deck, remembering our past, sharing our journey over the past forty plus years and looking toward a future with all of us more firmly connected. My heart was full that September day and even now it feels like it could burst when the memory resurfaces.
As Thanksgiving approaches, I can’t think of a better time to share these feelings. I continue to be so thankful for my immediate family—my son, sister, brother-in-law, nephews, niece-in-law and grand-niece—and am glad to know there is room for more thanks and more love. Our hearts are unlimited and adding my cousins and their wonderful spouses to that space in my heart was a gift I wasn’t expecting.
The funny thing about family–you don’t get to choose them. They are chosen for you through birth, adoption and circumstances that are often stranger than fiction. My family is no exception. On this Thanksgiving Eve, I am thankful for the circumstances that brought these wonderful people into my life. I love all of you!